Again in EP, this time Monk Patrick’s posting of St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Romans 9: 20-24 (Post-Nicene Fathers: Series 2, Vol 11.)
But in saying, “which He had afore prepared unto glory,” he does not mean that all is God’s doing. Since if this were so, there were nothing to hinder all men from being saved. But he is setting forth again His foreknowledge, and doing away with the difference between the Jews and the Gentiles…
when he says, “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,” he does not deprive us of free-will, but shows that all is not one’s own, for that it requires grace from above. For it is binding on us to will, and also to run: but to confide not in our own labors, but in the love of God toward man. And this he has expressed elsewhere. “Yet not I, but the grace which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10.)
Whence then are some vessels of wrath, and some of mercy? Of their own free choice. God, however, being very good, shows the same kindness to both. For it was not those in a state of salvation only to whom He showed mercy, but also Pharaoh, as far as His part went. For of the same long-suffering, both they and he had the advantage. And if he was not saved, it was quite owing to his own will: since, as for what concerneth God, he had as much done for him as they who were saved.
If we say it is grace alone, then we accuse God of not willing to save all. If we say it is by our will alone, we are being Pelagian, and taking all the credit for our salvation. We must choose to keep connected to God’s grace, and discover where it’s at through the prayers of the Saints. Still, St. Chrysostom stresses free will because it’s important for us to keep employing it and not get lazy or take grace for granted. We must keep attentive.
In addition, I believe through the testimony of the Church that God intervenes and intercedes for the benefit of His people, whoever they may be, against the will of the vessels of wrath who want to stop their life, but by making them martyrs, these vessels give them life instead.