Making Sense Of The Master's Mercy - Part Two

“but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.” Nehemiah 9:17b (KJV)
 
As I shared in last week’s blog, the word “mercy” at one time was a commonly used word with the correct appropriation in the church. However, its usage in spiritual settings that are contemporary and culturally-centered has consequently caused the majesty and mandate of mercy to be diminished.  You see, mercy is majestic because it comes from Sovereign God. In addition, mercy has a mandate to mitigate the judgment that we deserve. Mercy should not be supplanted by sentimentalism. God’s mercy eradicates any emotionalism that encourages an inaccurate understanding.  A mind and heart moved by the Master’s mercy enables us to embrace the magnitude of what our egregious sin demanded (death) by a Holy God.
 
One my favorite words in the Bible is “but”. Why? Because it is often used as an indication of God’s intervention and His application of mercy.
 
“Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” Ephesians 2:3-5 (KJV, emphasis added)
 
I submit to you that the explanation behind the diminishing and misappropriation of mercy in ministries and evangelical groups is that Pastors and church leaders are changing their philosophy and approach in service. They are transitioning from a God-centered message that calls us to repent, conform to Christ and be holy to a more man-centered message for the masses.  These man-centered messages motivate and move us to placate our carnality, focus on what makes us feel good, and reconstruct a gospel that is inclusive and not so narrow. Why there are even some evangelicals that endorse the enormous error that Jesus is not the only way to God! They indicate that whatever you believe about the way of God is the truth. Furthermore, man-centered ministries do not admonish adherents to Christ. They promote surface level and harmless antidotes, offer polluted positivity, teach a rejection of sound doctrine and refuse to preach on the subjects of Hell and judgment, accountability, repentance or personal holiness. This continual and deliberate departure from the Lord’s commandments secures you to the sentencing of a righteous and holy God.
 
In man-centered teaching, God just becomes “a benevolent buddy” that would never consider harming or judging anyone and especially would never consider sending someone to hell. Consequently, the subject of “mercy” ceases to be relevant to a rebellious world that rejects personal responsibility for its actions.  However, according to the Scriptures, the Master’s meaning of “mercy” is to be spared or rescued from judgment, harm, danger, or trouble.  Notice the following verses.
 
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.” Psalms 4:1 (KJV, emphasis added)
 
“Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.” Psalms 6:2 (KJV, emphasis added)
 
“Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:” Psalms 9:13 (KJV, emphasis added)
 
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” 1 Timothy 1:12-13 (KJV, emphasis added)
 
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5 (KJV, emphasis added)
 
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude 1:21 (KJV, emphasis added)
 
Through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have “mercy” granted to us for all of eternity (the withholding of judgment against us) because His pure blood cleanses us from all sin. Therefore, a Spirit-filled mind and heart knows the majesty, manifestation and ministry of the Master’s Mercy. To know His mercy moves us to manage our lives under His mandates as opposed to man-centered motives.
 
For the Glory of God,
 
PBKSR