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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
June 5, 2022
The God Rich in Mercy
Flexibility is a quality that is important to develop in life for though the mind of a man plans his way, the Lord directs his steps (Prov. 16:9), and plans can change rapidly, and ours did dramatically. Changing circumstances delayed our departure for four days, then the plan to go to California was cancelled the previous evening due to changing plans out there. My sister-in-law has delayed the memorial service for her husband until September due to being already overwhelmed with trying to take care of her father’s estate and because we will be out there then for my dad’s 100th birthday. And praise the Lord, my brother is doing very well despite his extensive heart damage, so there was no immediate need related to him. We had already planned to stop and see Chuck & Linda Walter in Tennessee and they graciously invited us to spend a week with them, and then we spent a week in Williamsburg, VA relaxing without anything planned – though I did read a couple of books, kept up with email and worked ahead some so I would not be overwhelmed upon our return home.
Among the many blessings we had in our unplanned two week break was a man named Shane inviting us out to lunch after church when we were in Danville, VA. It turned out that he had only been saved a few years due to the witness of Sherman Craft, a man Diane & I met about 40 years ago at a Shepherd’s Conference. Diane had attended to him as a nurse at the conference when he became ill, then he visited our Young Adult Single’s Bible study that Friday. We had kept up with him off and on over the years and rejoiced when the church he was planting enabled him to finally quit his full time job and concentrate on pastoring which he did for many decades. Sherman had already retired when he met Shane on a golf course, started a conversation with him, befriended him, led him to the Lord and then discipled him for a couple of years before passing away. Jesus said in Luke 6:40 that when a disciple is fully trained, he will be like his teacher, and it was easy to see that vibrant witness and enthusiasm for Christ that I remembered in Sherman’s life had been transferred into Shane. God’s mercies and grace are seen all around us if we will keep out eyes open to see them. We saw that in our time away though it was radically different from what we had originally planned.
I appreciate very much the men that preached here will I was gone. Jim Zieger covered Psalm 13 and how to be encouraged even in those times when God doesn’t seem to be near by examining David’s life and pointing to his example of following truth even when circumstances are difficult. David would submit his emotions and impressions to be led by truths he knew about God instead of the other way around as is common to most people. (See: Psalm 13)
Randy Ryan took on the subject of unforgiveness to explain its dangers and give examples of men who submitted themselves to God’s will even when it would have been very reasonable for them to seek out their own interest or to seek revenge. Forgiveness of others begins with understanding the forgiveness that God grants by His mercy and grace through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Being reconciled through faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus we have peace with God. (See: Unforgiveness)
Tim Malvaso spoke on the Contrasts in the Life of Joseph from Genesis 41. Even when circumstances of life seem to go from bad to worse, God still has a plan for those who are faithful to Him. Joseph remained true, God blessed Him and then used Him to be a blessing. (See: Genesis 41)
This morning we will continue in our series about trusting God by knowing His nature and attributes. Today we will be looking at God’s mercy and next week God’s grace. Though mercy and grace are closely related concepts with some words translated either way depending on the context, there are clear distinctions between them. This morning we will be examining the concept of mercy, the need for mercy, and conclude with God’s extension of mercy to sinners.
We begin with a quick look at the Hebrew and Greek words translated as mercy in order to understand this concept and how it is expressed. The first word is tr6PoB1 / kapporeth which is translated as “mercy seat” and specifically refers to the golden cover of the sacred chest in the inner shrine of the tabernacle or temple upon which the blood of the sacrifice would be sprinkled. It comes from a root word which means “to atone.” The Mercy Seat was the place of atonement. That is an important concept to keep in mind. Atonement is related to an act of mercy.
The next three words are related to each other. .j1r2 / raham is to show mercy. .Ojr1 / rahum refers to sympathy, compassion. .ym3j*r1 / rahãmîm is translated as tender mercy.
According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT), the root of these words refers to deep love, usually of a “superior” for an “inferior,” and usually rooted in some “natural” bond. It is used for the deep inward feeling we know variously as compassion, pity, mercy. It is frequently used of God and incorporates two concepts. First, the strong tie God has with those whom he has called as his children – Psalm 103:13, “Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.” God looks upon His own as a father looks upon his children including having pity on them (cf. Micah 7:17). Second is God’s unconditioned choice (h n n, grace). God tells Moses that he is gracious and merciful to whomever he chooses in Exodus 33:19, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”
TWOT continues explaining that there are several ideas attached to God’s deep, tender love: First, the unconditional election of God as just mentioned from Exodus 33:19. Next, His mercy and forgiveness toward his people in the face of deserved judgment and upon the condition of their repentance . Proverbs 28:13 succinctly describes this – “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” And then God’s continuing mercy and grace in preserving his unrepentant people from judgment. 2 Kings 13:23 – But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God’s mercy is part of the basis for our future hope (cf. Isa 14:1; 49:13; 54:7; Jer 12:15; 33:26; Ezk 34:25; Mic 7:19; Zech 1:16).
I will quickly add here from the notes in TWOT that the adjective .Ojr1 / rahum is used only of God (with the possible exception of Psalm 112:4) which sets it forth as one of His attributes, i.e. what God gives forth in r ham He has in rahûm. The word .ym3j*r1 / rahãmîm can refer to the seat of one’s emotions (Joseph – Genesis 43:30) or the expression of one’s deep emotion (a mother over her child – 1 Kings 3:26). God’s tender mercy is rooted in His free love and grace. The Psalmist often beseeches God for expressions of His tender mercies to relieve his distress (Psalm 51:1 – According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions) or confesses that undeserved relief is due to God’s tender mercies and grace (Psalm 103:4 – Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion).
The next two words, lm1h2 / chamal and hl9m2h6 / chemlah are cognates of each other. Their root meaning according to TWOT connotes that emotional response which results (or may result) in action to remove its object (and/or its subject) from impending difficulty. This idea is seen in lm1h2 / chamal being variously translated as spare, pity, have compassion on. It can apply to both the emotion leading to and the action of sparing. This word is used in Exodus 2:6 when Pharoah’s daughter sees baby Moses and she has pity on him resulting in her sparing him from the required destruction and instead adopting him. It is used in Malachi 3:17 when the Lord of hosts states, “They will be Mine on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” When this same word is negated it describes being merciless, not sparing, without compassion or pity such as Proverbs 6:34 – “For jealousy enrages a man, And he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”
ds6j6 / hesed is the next word I will mention. It can be translated as mercy, but more often is translated as, kindness, lovingkindness, and steadfast, unfailing or loyal love. I bring this word up primarily because it describes the basis from which mercy arises as shown in Lamentations 3:22, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses (ds6j / hesed) indeed never cease, For His compassions (.ym3j*r1 / rahãmîm) never fail.” God’s compassion, pity, mercy arise from His nature of being lovingkind and steadfast in love. God is true to His word and character “in the expression and display of His own character and not due to any sort of obligation to something outside of Himself” (TWOT).
The last Hebrew word I will point out is ,n1j2 / hanan which brings up the close tie between the concepts of mercy and grace for this word is translated variously in both ways. TWOT comments that this verb “depicts a heartfelt response by someone who has something to give to one who has a need . . . It often has the sense of showing kindness to the poor and needy . . . The plea honn nî, ‘be gracious to me,’ appears nineteen times in the Psalms. The Psalmist asks Yahweh to show him favor in view of his loneliness (Ps 25:16), his distress (Ps 31:9), his transgressions (Ps 51:1) where the favor he asks for is that God will erase the indictment against him.”
The first Greek word group I will bring up is e[leoV, ejleevw / eleos, elee which is translated as mercy; pity; compassion. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) explains that in Greek usage this word referred to “the emotion roused by contact with an affliction which comes undeservedly on someone else.” But keep in mind that such emotion prods corresponding action. TDNT continues on to explain that in the Septuagint (LXX), e[leoV / eleos is the word normally used to translate ds6j6 / hesed which I explained a few minutes ago. In religious usage this refers to God’s faithful and merciful help. In the New Testament the word group is used for the attitude men are to have toward one another such as in the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 who showed mercy towards the man who was robbed and beaten which Jesus used as the example of what it means to love your neighbor. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their lack of such compassion many times (Matt. 9:13; 12:7; 23:23). Mercy is an element that characterizes the wisdom from above (James 3:17).
The word group is also used to express God’s mercy to people in general and specific. Mary mentions God’s mercy three times in her Magnificant in Luke 1:46-55 and Zachariah twice in verses 68-79 in his prophecy concerning John. Paul refers to God’s mercy to people 11 times in his epistles, three times as part of his salutations. All the authors of the general epistles also mention God’s mercy.
The second Greek word group I want to mention is oijktivw, oijktirmoV, oijktivrmwn / oikti , oiktirmos, oiktirm n which is translated as merciful or compassionate. TDNT points out that this word group covers the ideas of mercy that are part of grief, lamentation and sympathy. It is translated as compassion in Romans 9:15 in the quote of Exodus 33:19 – I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It is a quality of God as expressed 2 Corinthians 1:3 which calls Him “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” Paul points out the mercies of God in Romans 12:1 as motivation for them “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” It is a quality that is to be reflected in man as expressed in Jesus’ command in Luke 6:36 to “be merciful just as your Father is merciful,” and Paul’s command in Colossians 3:12 to “put on a heart of compassion” along with “kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other . . .”
The third Greek word group is iJlasthvrion, iJlasmovV / hilaskomai, hilasmos. iJlasthvrion / hilast rion is the equivalent of tr6PoB1 / kapporeth being translated as mercy seat in Hebrews 9:5 and so it carries an idea of atonement, a covering for sin to be made such as in Luke 18:13 when the tax collector was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” This meaning is brought out even stronger in Hebrews 2:17 in which is translated as propitiation – 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful (ejlehvmown / eleāmoōn) and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation (iJlavskomai / hiliskomai) for the sins of the people.” The cognate word, iJlavsmovV / hilasmos, is translated as propitiation, a payment made to appease, turn away wrath, in 1 John 2:2 and 4:10 – (2:2 “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 4:10 “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins“).
Putting all of these elements together, God’s attribute of mercy is: The elements of God’s love by which He has compassion towards creation, and especially to those He has chosen for Himself, for their afflictions due to their frail state and needy condition, and pity upon them because of the troubles that come upon them due to their sin, by which He extends His lovingkindness to meet their need and provide a means of propitiation and expiation to spare them from the consequences of their sin by receiving His forgiveness.
The Need for Mercy
Now that mercy has been defined, what is the need of it? Great and varied as seen in the nuances of differences in the concept of mercy revealed in the different words used to express it. Let me break these down into two general categories both of which are related to sin. First are those related to the affliction and suffering experienced in this life due to the consequences of sin – your own sin, the sin of others, and living in a sin cursed world. Second are the mercies needed related to being granted forgiveness for transgressions and evil done against one another and even more so for sins against our holy and righteous Creator.
The problem of suffering is often used as an excuse by unbelievers for their rejection of God under the basic argument that if God was good, there would not be any suffering, and since there is suffering, God is not good if He exists at all. The failed logic in this argument is its premise that suffering is caused by God instead of by the rejection of God. The truth is that God only tolerates sin and the suffering it causes because He is longsuffering Himself in carrying out His plan of redemption of sinful man.
There are natural consequences to your own sin. Just as attempts to defy the laws of physics will cause you harm, so will defying God’s moral laws. Gravity is at work all the time and if you are not mindful of it you will get injured in a fall. Morality is at work all the time and when you violate God’s commands you will reap the consequences. Psalm 7:14–16 warns, 14 “Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. 15 He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made. 16 His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.” Galatians 6:7 gives this succinct warning, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
When your own sin causes you to suffer, there is a lesson to be learned and hopefully the compassion of others will help alleviate the suffering. A child that foolishly disobeys his parent’s instruction resulting in injury to himself needs to be reminded of the importance of obedience as part of the lesson to be learned even as the wounds are bound and the child is held to comfort and console. Jesus points out in Luke 6:34-35 that God has consistently demonstrated over the ages this type of kindness to even ungrateful and evil men so that He could command them to “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” However, be warned that a child that continues to defy his parents will receive less compassion and greater discipline in the same way Hebrews 12:3-13 explains that God is a Father that disciplines His sons that they may share in His holiness and gain the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
When others sin against you causing you injury, or the suffering is caused by any of the many natural disasters that are part of living in this sin cursed world, the need for compassion is even greater. Such afflictions should provoke in others emotions of sympathy and pity resulting in acts of compassion in the effort to heal the injuries and lighten the load of suffering. James 5:11 states that “the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” He is as Psalm 103:3 declares, that God pardons iniquities and heals diseases which is why we can cry out to him as did the Psalmists for help and healing (Psalm 30). We can cast all of our anxieties, worries and burdens on the Lord for He cares and has compassion for those that fear Him (Psalm 103:13; 1 Peter 5:7). We are to reflect these attributes of God in loving one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34), but also to love our neighbors and even our enemies (Matthew 5:38; James 2:8). These are attitudes that are to result in actions as Paul concludes in Galatians 6:10, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”
These are all mercies related to the consequences of sin in this world – personal sin, the sin of others, and living in a sin cursed world. Compassion, sympathy and pity along with actions corresponding to those emotions are to relieve suffering as needed. However, the greatest need for mercy is related to the eternal consequences of sin against our holy and righteous Creator. As the fear of God diminishes in our society, there is a corresponding nonchalance, an indifference, to sin against Him. That is to be expected among those that reject God such as atheists and agnostics as well as those that have formulated a god of their own design that will approve of their sins while condemning those of others. Tragically, even among those that profess to be followers of Jesus Christ there is a diminishing of the seriousness of sin resulting in both a distortion of the nature and character of God and less personal holiness in the manner of living.
Sin is serious not just because of its tragic consequences, but because all sin is an attack on God. In Psalm 51, David’s confession of sin, he recognized that all of his sin was ultimately against God – “Against Thee, against Thee only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Thy sight, so that Thou art justified when Thou does speak, and blameless with Thou dost judge” (vs. 4). Yes, David also sinned against Bathsheba, Uriah, his family and the nation, but every one of his sinful actions were transgressions against God’s commands and therefore in primary defiance against God in the pursuit of his own selfishness. The same is true for each of us in every sin we commit whether we consider it great or small.
Remember that a major conflict that Jesus had with the Scribes and Pharisees was over their evaluation of what was or was not sin and what was or was not serious sin. Jesus cut through their man made religious standards to take it back to God’s word and its exposure of their wicked hearts. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus rejected their traditions by taking them back to God’s commandments and the issues of the heart and will in each of them – murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, revenge, love, alms, prayer and fasting. Legalism draws a line of action to determine sin, but God “tries the hearts and minds” (Psalm 7:9; Jeremiah 17:10) for Jesus said it is 19 “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 “These are the things which defile the man” (Matthew 15:19–20).
Sin is much more pervasive that most people, including professing Christians, think because 1) They do not recognize as sin everything God declares is sin, 2) They do not consider that God is also examining their hearts and minds, 3) They evaluate sin on their own standards instead of God’s. Consider that Jesus said in Matthew 12:36 in His rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” How often do you hear people blaspheming and taking the name of the Lord in vain every day? Perhaps even from your own lips you have fallen into blurting out “Oh my God” as a reaction to something without reverence for God or being a statement of prayer. Sin is insidious.
What is God’s just reaction to sin? Ezekiel 18:4 states that “The soul who sins will die.” Paul states in Romans 6:23 that “The wages of sin is death.” Both of these have their root in God’s command to Adam to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lest he die. But Eve was deceived by the devil and she ate, then gave to Adam with her, and he ate, and both died spiritually that day when they separated themselves from God, and they began the process of physically dying that day as well now being cut off from the tree of life which was also in the garden. The rest of human history is a record of physical death and the Bible gives consistent warning of eternal spiritual death and punishment for sinners. Psalm 7:11 states that “God is a righteous judge, And a God who has indignation every day.” Romans 1:18 states, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” That wrath has been revealed in the past as God has judged individuals and nations in His wrath as recorded in the prophets. That ranges from Miriam getting leprosy temporarily (Numbers 12) to plagues on the Israelites for their disobedience (Numbers 11; 14; 25) to the deportation of Israel & Judah (Ezra:5:12) to the utter destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah (Deut. 29:23) and later the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15) to the world-wide flood during the days of Noah (Genesis 6-8). The wrath of God exists in the present as explained in Romans 1 in God’s removal of His hand to allow people who reject Him and pursue their sin to descend into depravity. A condition easily seen in our societal elite who promote abominations that could hardly be even imagined when my children were born. God’s wrath will continue into the future in the destruction of the present heavens and earth by fire (2 Peter 3) and the judgment at the great white throne when all whose names are not written in the book of life are condemned for their sinful deeds and cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
God is holy, righteous and just, and all sin condemns. The list in Romans 1:28-32 that are under the wrath of God and given over to depraved minds includes those 29 “filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful.” The list in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 of the unrighteous that will not inherit the kingdom of God includes fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers. The list in Revelation 21:8 of those that will suffer the second death of the lake that burns with fire and brimstone includes the “cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars.” That last one, lying, is universal. Do you know anyone that has not lied? It only takes one lie to be a liar, and lying is so common today that it is expected. Among politicians and media it is an art form that is turned on its head with those censoring so called “misinformation” (news media and government bureaucrats) often being the greatest liars. Everyone stands condemned as stated Romans 3:10–12 quoting from Psalm 14, “There is none righteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”
Added to this problem is that man has no ability to correct the problem on his own. Consider Isaiah 64:6, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Ephesians 2:1–2 adds, 1 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” Mercy is needed because man is guilty and condemned before God without means to satisfy the judgment against him. If God were not merciful, there would be no hope, but God is merciful so there is hope for sinners.
God’s Mercy to Sinners
God would be merciful even if sin did not exist because it is an eternal attribute of God, however, sin gives opportunity for God’s mercy to be demonstrated to His creatures who suffer because of its curse. I like what A. W. Tozer said about this, “As judgment is God’s justice confronting moral inequity, so mercy is the goodness of God confronting human suffering and guilt.”
Ephesians 2:3-5 continues on to explain that though “we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” The richness of God’s mercy culminates in Christ as I will explain in a moment, but it has been demonstrated throughout history. Consider these brief points.
- A) When Adam and Eve sinned, it was God that sought them out and then made a covering for their shame through clothing He made from the sacrifice of an animal.
- B) God spared Cain’s immediate execution for his murder of Abel
- C) God was longsuffering and patience with mankind though they were so evil in the days of Noah that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually
- D) God sparing Noah & his family along with a pair of every kind of animal through the Ark
- E) God choosing Abraham and setting His love upon Him and His descendants
- F) God provided a lamb as a substitute for the sacrifice of Isaac
- G) God providing for Israel & his descendants (and all of Egypt) through the wisdom He gave Joseph
- H) God brought out the Israelites from slavery in Egypt through Moses
- I) God spared the first-born of those who followed His instructions in the first Passover
- J) God providing for the Israelites during the whole time of their wilderness wanderings and did not destroy them quickly due to their reoccurring sins. Miracles of safety (Red Sea), water, food and victory
- K) God provided Judges to deliver Israel from her oppressors.
- L) God sent prophets to warn and encourage during the time of the kings
- M) God spared a remnant at the fall of Jerusalem though taken into captivity
- N) God enabled a remnant to return to the land under Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah to rebuild the temple and city
- O) Jesus had compassion to heal the sick and cast out demons throughout His years of ministry.
All of this can be summarized as God’s mercy to the wicked being demonstrated in both His withholding the judgment that is due because the Lord is patient and longsuffering and in His kindness in providing for them (2 Peter 3:9). But by far, the greatest act of mercy is Jesus becoming the sin sacrifice for man so that God can be holy and just and still offer forgiveness to those that believe in Christ.
I already mentioned from Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 2:2 and 4:10 that Jesus is the propitiation for man’s sin. There had to be a perfect sacrifice for sin of infinite value in order to satisfy God justice in order for there to be a basis to offer forgiveness of sin. Jesus, God in human flesh who lived a sinless life willingly became that sacrifice that turned God’s righteous wrath away from man and to Himself when He bore it by His death on the cross of Calvary. Jesus then rose from the dead as His promised proving that the sacrifice was accepted and that His claims and promises are true.
Why would God do this? As I already mentioned from Ephesians 2:4, it was because “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,” that He extended His grace to save people from sin through faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ as a gift from Him, and not as the result of works so that no one can boast (vs. 8-9). Titus 3:5–7 explains that 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Hebrews 8:8–12 explains the future hope given in God’s continuing mercy with verse 12 stating “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.”
God is rich in mercy, but the mercy of salvation from sin is only extended to those that will turn from sin and unbelief to Jesus Christ. Hebrews 3:19 explains that the wicked were not able to enter God’s rest because of their unbelief. Jesus said in John 3:16–18, 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Why won’t people believe? Jesus adds in verses 19-20, 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
Do you believe the truth about Jesus and what He has done? If so, rejoice and proclaim God’s mercy offered to sinners that they too may be saved. If you do not, God’s mercy is available. Fear God and humble yourself before Him to seek the truth and light, for that will lead you to Jesus.
Sermon Notes – 6/5/2022 A.M.
The God Rich in Mercy – Selected Scriptures
tr6PoB1 / kapporeth – the Mercy seat / to atone
.j1r2 / raham: to show mercy. . .Ojr1 / rahum: sympathy, compassion. ..ym3j*r1 / rahãmîm: tender mercy.
The deep inward __________we know variously as compassion, pity, mercy. Psalm 103:13;
Exodus 33:19 – the _______________election of God in showing mercy
Proverbs 28:13 – God’s mercy and ______________forgiveness of those that confess / repent
2 Kings 13:23 – God’s continuing mercy and grace in ____________his unrepentant people from judgment
God’s emotion of mercy results in ______of mercy, and His tender mercy is rooted in His free love
lm1h2 / chamal and hl9m1h2 / chemlah – spare, pity, have compassion upon
Exodus 2:6 – Pharaoh’s daughter on __________. Malachi 3:17 – the Lord of Hosts sparing Israel
ds6j6 / hesed – kindness; lovingkindness; steadfast, unfailing, loyal love.
Lamentations 3:22 – God’s compassion, pity, mercy arise from being _____________& steadfast in love
,n1j2 / hanan – translated as both mercy and __________.
e[leoV / eleos; ejleevw/ eleeō – an equivalent of ds6j6 / hesed
Luke 10 – the Good Samaritan showed mercy demonstrating __________of neighbor
God’s mercy – 3 times in Luke 1:46-45, Mary’s Magnificant. 2 times in Luke 1:68-79, ___________prophecy
oijktivw/ oiktiō, oijltirmoV / oiktirmos, oijktivrmwn / oiktirmōn – merciful, compassionate
Mercy as part of grief, lamentation or ____________. Romans 9:15 cf. Exodus 33:19
2 Corinthians 1:3 – the Father of mercies. Romans 12:1 – God’s mercy as ___________to live for the Lord
Luke 6:36; Colossians 3:12 – man is to be merciful as a ____________of God’s mercy
iJlasthvrion / hilaskomai, oijktivrmwn / hilasmos – mercy seat (tr6PoB1 / kapporeth) , an element of __________
Hebrews 2:17 – ___________. The cognate word, iJlavsmovV / hilasmos, also propitiation – 1 John 2:2 and 4:10
The elements of God’s love by which He has compassion towards creation, and especially to those He has chosen for Himself, for their afflictions due to their frail state and needy condition, and pity upon them because of the troubles that come upon them due to their sin, by which He extends His lovingkindness to meet their need and provide a means of propitiation and expiation to spare them from the consequences of their sin by receiving His forgiveness
The Need for Mercy
Mercy related to suffering the consequences of sin experienced in this _________
God _____________human suffering by His own longsuffering in providing a means of redemption
Natural consequences of _______________sin – warnings in Psalm 7:14-16; Galatians 6:7
Consequences of your sin should teach you a __________& compassion of others helps alleviate the suffering
God is a merciful Father that teaches lessons & _________as well as disciplines – Luke 6:34-35; Heb.12:3-13
Mercy related to suffering consequences of the sin of others and / or living in a sin _________world
James 5:11; Psalm 103:3,13; 1 Peter 5:7 – God is compassionate & merciful, we can _______ to Him for help
Christians are to reflect God’s loving compassion and do ______for others (John 13:34; James 2:8; Gal. 6:10)
People need God’s mercy because they _________the consequences of sin in this life
People are in even greater need of God’s mercy because they are ____________to eternal suffering without it.
Sin is serious due to both its consequences and its __________on God’s character – Psalm 51
A major conflict Jesus had with the Scribes & Pharisees was their ___________of what was or was not sinful
Sin is more pervasive that most realized due to 1) ________recognizing everything God declares to be sin.
2) Not considering God examines the ________& mind. 3) Evaluating sin by their _______standard.
God’s just reaction to sin is _________: Genesis 3; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23. History is a record of death
Psalm 7:11; Romans 1:18 – God’s ________is revealed in the past, present and into the future
God’s wrath is seen in __________(Numbers 11), deportation (Ezra 5:12), annihilation (1 Sam. 15), the Flood
God’s wrath in the present is seen in man’s descent into ____________- Romans 1:18-32
God’s future wrath will be expressed in __________of earth (2 Peter 3) & condemnation to the Hell (Rev. 20)
God is holy, righteous and just, and ______sin condemns – Romans 1:28-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Revelation 21:8
___________is universal – everyone stands condemned – Romans 3:10-12;
Man has no ability to correct the problem on his own – Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:1-2 – mercy is ____________
God’s Mercy to Sinners
Mercy is the goodness of God confronting human suffering and guilt – A. W. Tozer
Ephesians 2:3-5 – God is rich in mercy because of His great _______. There is hope for sinners
God’s mercy to the wicked is demonstrated in ___________judgment & kindness in providing for them
Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 2:2; 4:10 – Jesus is the propitiation for man’s sin – the ________that averts God’s wrath
God is rich in mercy (Eph. 2:4) & _________from sin according to His mercy poured out in Christ (Titus:3:5)
Mercy is offered freely to those that repent and believe, but _________blocks it – Hebrews 3:19; John 3:16-20
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times the word “mercy” is used in the sermon. Discuss with your parents what mercy is and how to receive it from God.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Define the various Hebrew and Greek words translated as mercy. Define / describe God’s attribute of mercy. What are the causes of human suffering in this life? How does God demonstrate mercy to each type of suffering? How should you respond? What is the eternal consequence of sin? What is sin and why is it so serious? Why is sin so pervasive and why do people have a different standard for it than God? What is the just response of God to sin? Can man avoid that consequence by their own effort? Why or why not? How does God demonstrate His mercy to sinners? What role does Jesus play in that? How can a sinner receive God’s mercy? Why does unbelief block mercy?
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