This week Jonty Allcock (Senior Pastor of the Globe Church and Co-Mission board member) exhorts us to dwell on and in God's mercy.
The mercy of God – Romans 1-11
You want to know about mercy? Let me give you a little taste. But it will only be a little taste because the mercy of God is unsearchably deep and unfathomably rich.
You see God is mercy. He does not just possess mercy, he is not just merciful sometimes. He is mercy, he’s always merciful. It flows from the essence of who God is, it flows from his very heart. God doesn’t need a counsellor or advisor to tell him to be merciful: “Hey why don’t you try this?” He is mercy - even in the face of intense provocation, God is merciful.
And God looks at this world he has made and the people who bear his image and do you know what he sees? He sees people who suppress the truth, he sees godlessness and wickedness, he sees people who have exchanged the truth about God for a lie, he sees people who have chosen to worship created things rather than the Creator who is forever to be praised.
And as God looks at this world that has rejected him he is rightly and deeply angry. Our world hangs under the wrath of God - it is a desperate and dangerous situation - but remember he is a God of mercy . And he sees more. He sees the desperate need – yes we are guilty, but we’re also powerless. We can’t keep God’s law. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot keep God’s standards and so the mercy of God looked at us in our powerless state and he has acted on our behalf.
It is God’s mercy that drove him to send his son into the world, it is the mercy of God that offered Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement on the cross. It is the mercy of God that freely offers forgiveness to all who will receive it by faith. It is the mercy of God by which guilty people are freely justified. It is the mercy of God that means we are fully and completely forgiven. It is the mercy of God that means it has all been done. It is the mercy of God that Jesus has been punished in our place. That’s the mercy of God.
But we’re not finished with the mercy of God, in fact we’re just getting started. It is the mercy of God that means we now have access into this grace in which we now stand.
It is the mercy of God that loved us while we were still sinners. It is the mercy of God that saw us while we were still in our powerless and feeble position and made the choice to save us. It is the mercy of God that guarantees our future. It is the mercy of God that means through Christ this righteousness overflows to many. It is the mercy of God that means that Christ stands as our representative and he fights for us. It is the mercy of God that means grace reigns through righteousness. It is the mercy of God that means we have been set free from slavery to sin and can now offer ourselves to him. It is the mercy of God that means we are not paid the wages that our sins deserve – that is death – but we are given eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is the mercy of God that comes to us in our struggle and battle. It is the mercy of God that means when we cry out: “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” there is an answer that says: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is the mercy of God that means there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. It is the mercy of God that means the righteous requirements of the law have been fully met in Christ. It is the mercy of God that means we are now adopted as God’s sons and daughters and by his spirit we now cry out: “Abba, Father.”
It is the mercy of God that means that as we groan in prayer the spirit groans with us. It is the mercy of God that means one day we will be set free from bondage to decay. It is the mercy of God that means we are more than conquerors in Christ. It is the mercy of God that chose us that loved us that preached to us that found us. It is the mercy of God that grafted us into his people. It is the mercy of God that guarantees not one of God’s people will be lost.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Therefore, in view of God’s mercy…
Do we feel it?
Do you feel the weight, the majesty, the breadth? We’ve only scratched the surface
Oh, the mercy of God!
When God’s mercy becomes mundane, obedience becomes a chore.
But when God’s mercy sparkles in all its infinite majesty, obedience becomes a joy.