“VESSELS OF MERCY”
God’s chosen ones are spoken of as “vessels of mercy.” Now we know that a vessel is nothing but a receiver. A “vessel” is not a fountain, but only a container and holder of that which is poured out into it. Such are the redeemed of God; they are not fountains by nature, out of whom there springs up anything which is good; they are simply receivers. At one time they are full of themselves, but grace empties them, and then as empty vessels they are set in the way of God’s goodness; God fills them to the brim with His lovingkindness, and so they are proved to be the vessels of His mercy. They may as “vessels” afterwards give out to others, but they can only give out what God has put in them; they may work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, but they cannot work it out unless God works in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure. They may run over with gratitude, but it is only because God has filled them with grace; they may stream forth with holiness, but it is only because the Lord keeps the supply overflowing. They are receivers, and receivers only.