GOD’S MERCY …. DECEMBER 15, 2019
But God, being RICH IN MERCY, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6 ESV
This past week I have asked several people what their definition of mercy might be and receive several different answers. The number one answer …. “When a person does not receive what they deserve.” Other answers I received were…. “The opportunity to live another day,” “To have good health,” “When you receive more blessings than you deserve,” “When God forgives you,” …. And on went the list. I really wasn’t looking for a particular answer; I was just interested as to how people viewed mercy. Here is a dictionary definition found when searching the internet: “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” That definition describes God very well. In compassion He loved and forgave when it was within His power to punish. This definition makes clear that every Christian has received mercy.
GOD OF MERCY:
But God being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us... Ephesians 2:4 ESV
Mercy is something desired by people who see the Holiness of God in light of the sin in their life. If a person does not see their sin, they will never understand nor see the need for mercy. When a person understands they have sin and needs a pardon/mercy from God, they are at the beginning point of becoming a Christian. You see mercy is not something we can do for ourselves, for it is not in our power to grant it. When someone is angry or arrogant in spirit toward God, they will not seek mercy. God is the only true and righteous judge in all the universe, and we can be thankful that he is the God of great love. His love is outward towards all that he has created, desiring to give mercy when wrath would be justified because of the crime of sin.
Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:5 ESV
God did in every Christian what in reality should be impossible. He made that which was dead….. alive. He resurrected life in the Christian by the power of Christ and gave us something we did not deserve…. grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9) You see, mercy is not receiving what you deserve; and grace is receiving something you did not deserve. So to be "alive with Christ" is to have experienced mercy, and "being saved" is because God, though His Son Jesus, gave you a precious gift……. salvation. To experience mercy is to be pardoned of the consequence of sin by which you were condemned. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 ESV
And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly place in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6 ESV
As we are positioned with Christ, we should conduct ourselves as God, in Christ has done in our lives.
God has made it possible to grant mercy by the gift of His own Son—a Son conceived by the Holy Spirit and born into the world in the flesh as a baby. This Son was the perfect Lamb of God, sent to pay for and pardon our sin. To have been shown such mercy, we should also show mercy to others in order to reflect what God has so richly done for us. We do not have the ability to pardon sin, but we should live in such a way that reflects the pardoning that we have received. tHe mercy we can show to others is the evidence of Jesus in our lives, that they might see God’s love and see their need of God’s pardon for sin in their life.
If you have never seen the need for God’s mercy in your life, may you do so today. David in the fifty-first Psalm understood it all too well when he prayed…. Have mercy on me O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin! Psalm 51:12 ESV Today you can be pardoned of all your sins by repenting and coming to God seeking his pardon for the sins you have done against him.
Hopefully you are a Christian and if so as you read these words think of someone you might need to express God’s mercy too. Remember mercy is granting something to someone that they don’t deserve. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Romans 12:14 ESV …… I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44 ESV …. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Luke 6:28 ESV This is showing mercy—by bringing them to God in prayer. As the Lord has done for you …… do for others…… this gives evidence of his presence in your life.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David