DESERVING GOD’S RICH MERCY
GOD IS RICH IN MERCY
I remember a teacher making a point that mercy was undeserved because that was the word’s meaning. If this were true then everyone would receive mercy because God is very pitiful and of tender mercy.
NO MERCY FOR THE UNMERCIFUL
The rich man who died and went to Hades was separated from the poor man Lazarus. Although he begged for mercy, he could not receive it because of his life of being unmerciful to Lazarus (Luke 16:24).
The rule is “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:13).
If there is no mercy for any category, then the word cannot mean “undeserved.”
GRACE, MERCY, AND PEACE ARE THREE UNIQUE WORDS.
Sometimes there will be a teacher who tries to define grace as “mercy.” The words are distinct from one another in the Bible. For example, both words, grace and mercy, along with peace are used in “Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:2; compare with 2 Timothy 1:2 and Titus 1:4). Grace is shown to be distinct from either peace or mercy.
MERCY AND GRACE ARE NOT EQUIVALENT
Mercy and grace then are two different words in both English and Greek and are not synonyms nor equivalent. Mercy is a KJV word (for the GreekG1656) that means “active compassion.” Grace, on the other hand, is a KJV word for the Greek charisG5485 which is derived from the word meaning “happy” and is usually translated as favor or “acceptable.” It is also translated in certain contexts in the KJV as benefit, gift, joy liberality, pleasure, thanks. Neither of these two words are ever translated as undeserved.
Mercy does not mean “undeserved” any more than grace does. *
The fact is, to God, some deserve mercy because God says so. This is where grace apparently comes in. God’s grace offers mercy. God’s grace has revealed to us who deserves mercy. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). There is a contrast between the Law of Moses which was written for posterity and grace and truth that’s written for us (John 17:17). “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us...” (Titus 2:11, 12).
GOD DETERMINES ON WHOM HE WILL HAVE MERCY
“For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Romans 9:15, 18).
GRACE REVEALS WHO OBTAINS MERCY
It is at the throne of God’s grace that we can find God’s mercy. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
The throne of Grace is revealed to us through the Faith, the gospel. “By grace are you saved through [Gr., the] Faith (i.e., gospel)” (Ephesians 2:8). “That ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27; compare Romans 1:16, 17). “Contend earnestly for the Faith” (Jude 3).
GRACE TEACHES US...
1. JESUS THE DAYSPRING VISITED US THROUGH GOD’S MERCY.
“Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us” (Luke 1:78).
2. THOSE THAT FEAR GOD DESERVE MERCY
“And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation”(Luke 1:50).
3. THE BORN AGAIN DESERVE MERCY
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
4. GOD’S PEOPLE DESERVE MERCY
“Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:10).
5. THOSE THAT STAY IN GOD’S LOVE DESERVE MERCY
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:21).
6. THE MERCIFUL DESERVE GOD’S MERCY
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
This was true for those under the Old Testament Law. “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13, compare Matthew 12:7). This included the leaders, the scribes and the Pharisees. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23). “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:36-37).
An example of the merciful is Onesiphorus:
“The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: ...The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well” (2 Timothy 1:16, 18). Onesiphorus feared God, was a follower of Jesus, and was keeping himself in the love of God. He was being merciful to Paul in his needs.
“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). From God’s throne of grace God’s mercy is offered. His grace teaches that we must fear God, be born again, and live as His faithful people by ourselves being merciful. The question for us then: are we living as the Lord’s merciful people so that we will deserve mercy?
For further reading, I refer
the reader to my book, Grace,
a Free Ride to Heaven?
Available at https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Free-Ride-Heaven-Gaylon/dp/1257781782.