Main Point: God mercifully grants faith and justly hardens a sinful, unbelieving heart!
I. The Elect Obtain Right Standing with God – v. 7a.
Romans 10:3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II. The Rest are Justly Hardened – vv. 7b-10.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Ephesians 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
So, what does it mean that He hardens hearts?
It refers to God’s decision to confine people in the sin that they have chosen for themselves.
R.C. Sproul When God hardens the heart, all He does is step away and stop striving with us. … He does not force people to sin; rather, He gives them their freedom to exercise the evil of their own desires.
PIC – Israel/Remnant
- This does not mean that God has rejected Israel entirely.
- Hardening does not remove responsibility.
- How is your heart?
Psalm 139:23–24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”