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Larry Buford: Judging God’s Workmanship

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*Who are we to judge another? Can we see another’s heart? Do we know for what purpose a person was created? We sometimes become presumptuous when we look upon the outer appearance of another, but only God knows the intent of the heart. The Bible tells us in the Old Testament that the law of circumcision was the outward show that distinguished the people of the true and living God from those who worshipped pagan idols.

In the New Testament, we learn about the circumcision of the heart – a spiritual cutting away of the flesh – the carnal. Once we’ve confessed Jesus Christ, we are no longer under the law, but under grace, and we walk by faith, not by sight. The evidence of our faith is our love for God, and our love for one another. ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control’ [Gal 5:22, NIV]. The Bible says the greatest of them all is love.

Have you ever wondered if the disciple Judas or Egypt’s Pharaoh were saved? Who can say? Judas betrayed Jesus; Pharaoh rebelled against God’s messenger Moses. The Apostle Paul records in Romans 9:15-18 NIV “’I [God] will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” Verse 21 reads: ‘Does not the potter [creator] have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?’

God in His sovereignty may create vessels to become the objects of His wrath, or of His mercy. Yes, in order to be saved we are instructed to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead; but it is not for us to say who God will or will not show mercy to – otherwise we may be in for some big surprises come judgment day. Let us continue to love, pray and encourage one another.

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