22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
1901 ASV Translation:
22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction:
23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory,
24 even us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?
I. Paul's "Argument".
A. God may well have a "purpose" that has not yet been considered [see notes of December 9, 2008 (458)].
B. God's "purpose" includes "enduring with much longsuffering".
1. The major question here is the meaning of "enduring with much longsuffering" in the face of the reality of the divine choice to create. How is it that God "puts up with" something that was, apparently, inevitable to His choice of creating persons?
a. This is, perhaps, explained by the current reality as we reason back from the present.
1) Currently, "suffering unto glory" is a main staple of New Testament revelation. There is much in Romans 8 regarding this "connection" and Paul's letters are filled with the exhortation to "endure" the unpleasant because of the superior "pleasantness" that is to come. He told the Thessalonians that "no man [should] be moved by ... afflictions; for yourselves know that hereunto we are appointed ... when we were with you, we told you beforehand that wearetosufferaffliction; even as it came to pass ..." (1 Thessalonians 3:3-4).
2) Given this current reality, all we have to do is answer one question and we will have the answer to the larger question: could God have done things in any different way and still obtained His purpose?