“God’s Mercy and Grace”
June 7, 2020
God’s Mercy and Grace
God’s Grace. Do I preach on God’s Grace too much? Too often? I hope not. I think not. I believe there is only one subject I could preach on that would rank above God’s Grace and that would be God’s Love. Love, Mercy and Grace, they come in that order, as far as I am concerned.
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4) See the order in which Love and Mercy appear? First comes the Love, God loved us before we knew Him. Through His Prevenient Grace God knew us, surrounded us and protected us before we could claim Him as Savior. Paul tells us about that in Ephesians 2:5 (He) made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…
Ephesians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Ephesus, a city in what is now Western Turkey. Paul’s letter to Ephesus contains a lot about God’s Love, Mercy, and Grace. Last week we talked about the Love of God, so today I want to look more closely at God’s Mercy and Grace. Mercy and Grace are not just some feelings God has sitting all around heaven in baskets. Mercy and Grace are part of God’s make-up. They are part of Who He is! Anytime you sense God’s presence in your life you can know all His Mercy and Grace are there surrounding you.
I hope you remember the short, easy definitions of Mercy and Grace I use:
Mercy is not getting what we do deserve.
Grace is getting what we don’t deserve.
From time-to-time someone might ask me the difference between Methodist churches and other denominations and my reply is usually that in the Methodist church I concentrate on preaching on God’s Love, Mercy, and Grace more than hell fire, damnation, and brimstone.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
This is one of Jesus’ Beatitudes delivered on a hillside to thousands of listeners. If you were to number the Beatitudes this would be number 5. Isn’t it wonderful to know that if you are Merciful you shall receive Mercy. But, what is this Mercy. How do we go about receiving it and how do we go about giving it? The source of all Mercy is God the Father. There is no other source; there is no other place to find it. The only way to be a Merciful person is to have within us God-given Mercy. The source of Mercy is God.
Jesus came as our Merciful High Priest. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18)
The writer of Hebrews goes on to tell us that we can depend upon our Merciful High Priest because of the suffering He has withstood. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Just so you know, God has already poured out all the Mercy on us we will ever need. Dr. Donald Barnhouse put it this way: “When Jesus died on the cross, all the work of God for man’s salvation passed out of the realm of prophecy and became historical fact.” There is nothing more to be done for us in the area of Mercy for us. We have already been blessed with all we can ever need. (Ephesians 1:3)
We had a good discussion on this very subject last Wednesday in our Bible study on John. What you must remember is God sees you in His time, His timing. When Jesus went to the Cross all your sins were forgiven, from that point on. We see ourselves as looking with human eyes. But, God the Father sees us through His eyes, in His timing. When we go to God and ask forgiveness for our sin that sin has already been covered by the Blood of Christ. Through His Mercy and the Blood of Christ we are forgiven.
Again, Paul gives us some good information in Ephesians: In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:7-8)
And then, there’s His Grace. Another thing, a very important thing you need to realize about God concerning Love, Mercy and Grace is that they are not something God has, they are Who God Is. When God is present, as He always is, His Love and Mercy and Grace are always there. He is Love, He is Mercy, His Grace Cover us, Surround us and Keep us. As King David would tell us, we are Never apart from His Presence which includes His Love, Mercy and Grace.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
Grace, in which we now stand! We are covered with God’s Grace and there’s nothing we can do about it except accept. The first encounter we have with God’s Grace is when we are covered with His Grace from the beginning of our existence. We were covered by God’s Prevenient Grace from our beginning. As King David says, For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)
Again – Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. (Romans 5:1-2)
Bostwick UMC 6/7/20
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