Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Magnitude of Mercy in the Man Jesus Christ

Tuesday night at CRU, we were privileged to hear from Tyler Miller. He spoke on the mercy of God in response to Darren Russo's message on the love of God. 
John Piper in his book "Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ" says "The universe exists primarily to display the wealth of the glory of the mercy of God for the enjoyment of his redeemed people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation."
Mercy is defined as "compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power" The end result of mercy is that it provides relief from suffering.God's mercy isn't about making your life easy, it's about preventing the worst suffering you could have ever experienced. The love of God is most greatly displayed in the way he gives us mercy through Christ. We are not able to place our faith in Christ apart from the mercy he shows us.
Ephesians 2:1-5 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—
Lets walk through this verse by verse. 

Verses one and two describe our old life. We were dead. Lifeless. Powerless. Sin has the power to hold us accountable of the wrong we do towards God and by all accounts we are guilty.We have all lived this life...this spiritually dead life. No one is born into a relationship with God. You might be born into a Christian family or grow up going to church but that doesn't mean you have a relationship with God. We all have a problem. Pleasure is our driving force and we typically only move toward our current desires.

Verse three talks about the nature of mankind. Everyone inherits something from their parents...whether it's eye color, hair color, or disposition...we all get something from our parents. In verse three we are described as children of wrath. We were to inherit God's wrath...God is just. He has to punish sin...if he didn't he wouldn't be just and if he isn't just then he isn't God. 

Verses four and five are where his mercy is displayed. God averts the coming judgement and makes us alive. We have to be shown his mercy to experience life in Christ. 

We go from spiritual death in verse one to being alive with Christ in verse five. God supplied the mercy...we had the need. Our works don't save us...anything that we try to bring into our relationship with God is nothing more than filthy rags. Jesus is the only sufficient payment. God bought our freedom and paid our debt. 

Think about this for a while...where is your life? Are you dead or alive? Look to, believe and follow him. Live it out. Are there areas in your life where you make his mercy look cheap? Does your life display the fact that you have been ransomed? What does that even look like? 

There are three ways that we can live it out...
  • Be Mercy - You have been given mercy.
    • Have you ever had someone cut you off in traffic or a roommate who continually does stuff that makes you mad? Extend mercy to them instead of getting upset or yelling. Show them patience and favor.
  • Be Transparent - You are not your own.
    • How many of you truthfully answer the question "How are you?"? Do you hide your problems and put up a facade? Keep yourself accountable. Don't give out the impression that you have it all together. Be honest and let people see the light of God through your struggle.
  • Be Humble - What did you do to deserve this mercy?
    • We did nothing to deserve his great mercy. It is all a gift. Does your life reflect that gift? What you are given is not your own...don't be proud with what you are given.
God's mercy is magnificently displayed in the man Jesus Christ. Let's display that magnificent mercy and show the world.

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