The Mercy of God

For April 3, 2022
Mercy is when gracious favor is extended towards a person when judgment is expected and required. The Bible teaches how God extends mercy to a fallen humanity by extending life and grace when death and punishment are warranted (my emphasis),

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10 (NKJV)

Instead of experiencing God’s righteous justice and judgement, for the sins we’ve committed, He pardons us and sets us free—forever. Through faith in Christ, our sin nature is canceled, let go, sent away, pardoned, and forgotten forever. Our sins no longer define us. In addition, the Holy Spirit inhabits us—bringing us to life—to give us a new start… Born Again, and totally free from the guilt and shame associated with our sinful past, as one author explains,

Through his life, death, resurrection, and exaltation, come deliverance from the guilt and power of sin and the gift of new life through the indwelling Holy Spirit. So the believer is saved by Christ’s work on the cross (Acts 4:12); he is being saved now by the work of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier (Philippians 2:12) and he looks forward to completed salvation in the life of the age to come (1 Thessalonians 5:9, 1 Peter 1:5).1

God also looks beyond our past to extend His mercy to us, as people in need of restoration. Much like in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32), our Heavenly Father no longer sees us as “dead and lost.” Instead, He sees us as “alive and found.”

Our normal human reaction is to demand retribution, or keep mental and emotional records of wrongs. But, God does not. Although our fallen nature and sin offends Him far more than we could ever offend another person, He keeps no record of our past. Neither does He impose a probation period until we “earn” His good graces. Psalm 103:12 informs us that, “He has removed our sins as far as the east is separated from the west.”

God is holy and cannot abide sin, thus we are bound to spend eternity outside His presence in Hell; a place that burns forever with a fire that can never be quenched, reserved for sinners, demons, and the Devil himself. Yet, prompted by His great love, God restores us to full access to His Kingdom without restriction through Christ.

Thus, when we think on the mercy of God, we see something wonderful. We were convicted to eternal separation, “but God, who is rich in His mercy, with His great love with which He loved us,” offered Himself as a sacrifice for all humanity.

He gives us all the opportunity to become New Creatures by faith. We can be miraculously changed from sin-filled creatures to Spirit-filled creatures by His Holy Spirit. Then He offers justification or a “righteous standing” forever. No longer does God see our sin. Instead, He sees the righteousness of Christ.

God’s mercy sanctifies us as His Spirit works within us to shape us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. Through this great blessing of sanctification, His Spirit changes, guides, and teaches us how to fully experience the Abundant Life Jesus tells about in John 10:10.

God will come for us and glorify us so that we can abide in His presence and share His glory forever in Heaven—after we have truly overcome the world. Won’t you give your heart to Jesus Christ and experience the mercy of God today?

What a Wonderful Savior!

  1. J.D. Douglas, Walter A. Elwell, and Peter Toon, “Salvation,” The Concise Dictionary of the Christian Tradition, Doctrine, Liturgy, History, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989) 335.