Repent & Believe

Repent & Believe

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Will Have Mercy On Whom I Will Have Mercy

  • God is Both a God of Mercy and a God of Wrath - One of the most amazing of all of God’s characteristics is His mercy. It has been said that grace is getting what you don’t deserve (salvation), whereas mercy is not getting what you do deserve (God’s justice). What is it that you and I deserve? Let me put it another way: What does a mass murderer on death row deserve? And somebody will quickly answer, “But, I'm not a mass murderer.” Yet the Bible declares in Mat 5:21-22, “...whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: ... whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: ...”. We deserve to suffer in Hell eternally because we are spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins. Thus, we stand absolutely guilty and condemned before the great Judge of this universe. It’s very difficult for human beings to fully comprehend the wrath of God, which is eternal. The same is true for the mercy of God, which is also everlasting. These divine characteristics of God are seen in Psa 89:14. However, as sinful creatures we are more inclined to opt for God’s mercy instead of His justice. Generally how this works is that we want mercy for ourselves and justice for others. Who are the recipients of God’s mercy? We read these words in Mic 7:18, “…and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage”. The “remnant of his heritage” refers to the “Elect of God”, those whose sins God has forgiven – those upon whom God has bestowed His gift of salvation. Those who have become saved by God’s grace can exclaim along with the psalmist in Psa 86:13, “For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”

Mat 5:21-22, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Psa 89:14Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.”

Psa 86:15 “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.”

Mic 7:18Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.”

  • Salvation - Mercy from God - God extends His “great mercy” generally to all mankind despite the fact that all men are sinners, in many different ways as we live out our lives on earth, as we read in Psa 145:8-9, “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works”. All life is in God’s hands, and we are dependent upon His general mercy for every breath and heartbeat. We read about this as God spoke by the Apostle Paul to the people of Athens (and us) in Acts 17:24-28. Although God is merciful to all people in a general way by providing for their physical needs and restraining sin, many people confuse that kind of mercy with salvation itself. However, God only bestows His special gift of mercyeternal lifespecifically upon those whom He chose to save. The whole Bible declares the God’s sovereign power in the affairs of mankind and His salvation mercy upon His people. Mercy is God’s sovereign prerogative because nobody deserves it. Of course, God does not have to bestow His salvation mercy upon anyone because we all deserve eternal damnation for our sins. However, God has the sovereign right to save whomever He so desires without giving any reason to anyone for His actions, as He declares in Rom 9:15-16: “... I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion ...”. For those who would object to God’s right to choose some people for salvation for His glory and honor, God dispels all of man’s arguments in Rom 9:20-23: “…O man, who art thou that repliest [disputes] against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay ...”. The good news of the Gospel is that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners from eternal damnation in Hell.”

Acts 17:24-28 “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

Tit 3:5-6 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration [born of living water, Word of God], and renewing of the Holy Ghost [born of spirit] ; 6Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;”

Rom 9:10-16: ““And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15For he [God] saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”

Rom 9:20-23 “… O man, who art thou that repliest [disputes] against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath [unbelievers] fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy [believers], which he had afore prepared unto glory.”

  • God is NO Respecter of Persons - Rom 9:11-18 reveals that God’s purpose in election is His prerogative. It fulfills His divine will and ultimately sustains His everlasting glory. His sovereign choice of those whom He will love and save from eternal damnation is not based on anything that a person is or does – it is solely for His glory and honor. Peter, having understood the plan of God to save a people for Himself of both Jew and Gentile alike, proclaimed that God was not arespecter of persons” in Acts 10:34. The good news of the Gospel is that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners from eternal damnation in Hell. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus is for all people. God does not deal with nations or ethnic groups as a whole for salvation. His salvation program is carried out on an individual basis for His people who are part of every nation in the world. It’s for those who profess an external Christianity as well as for those who hail from cultures steeped in their own special kind of ritualism. Salvation is not dependent upon nationality, social status, religion, church attendance, or any other condition – it is purely an act of God’s supreme grace. Nobody deserves it at all! Everything is a gift from God, and the greatest blessing for anybody is the gift of salvation from spiritual death and Hell. The idea of God being impartial should be a great comfort to us as we recognize God’s unbounded mercy and compassion to those who previously hated Him and wanted absolutely nothing to do with Him or His Word. Also both unbelievers and those who claim to be Christians (but are not saved) will suffer eternal damnation.

Jam 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

Acts 10:34-35 “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”

Mat 22:16 “And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.”

Rev 5:9-10 “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

  • He that Humbleth himself shall be Exalted - The good news of the Gospel is that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners from eternal damnation in Hell and that God allows sinners to humbly petition Him for mercy through prayer like the publican of old in Luke 18:13. We must never forget that the publican was no more deserving of salvation than the Pharisee. What transpired has to do with the electing love of God entirely. Both men uttered words which were indicative of the condition of their hearts as Mark 12:34 reveals, “… out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh”. Only God can so work in a person’s soul as to bring about that which Jam 4:10 affirms, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up”. Once again, the words of 1 Cor 1:27-29 ring out in praise to God’s rich grace and mercy. If you are not a Christian, or you are unsure of your salvation, it is still the day of salvation. We have the wonderful privilege of crying out to God for His mercy. Although God is in control of salvation, we can plead for God’s mercy and read the Bible because it is in the environment of the Word of God that God the Holy Spirit works to save the elect. If you are not sure of your salvation, could it be that God will have mercy on you?

Psa 109:26 “Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:”

Hos 6:6 “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge [knowing him as a personal Savior] of God more than burnt offerings.”

Matt 9:13 “But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous [those that are deceived into thinking they are righteous through law and good works], but sinners [broken hearts] to repentance.”

Luk 18:10-14 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Luk 23:39-43 “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

1 Cor 1:27-29 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.”

Psa 34:18The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

Psa 69:13 “But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.”

Lam 3:26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”

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