Mercy Triumphs Judgment

Here are my notes from our Summer Series “When Sinners Say I Do”, Sermon Title: Mercy Triumphs Judgment.

A good way to understand the meaning of mercy is to see how it relates to grace:
1. Mercy–not getting what you do deserve / withheld punishment
2, Grace–getting what you don’t deserve / unmerited favor

Mercy is a unique, marvelous, exceptional word. God’s mercy means His kindness, patience, and forgiveness toward us. It is his compassionate willingness to suffer for and with sinners for their ultimate good. – Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do

Dave Harvey writes,

“Do you know God as a God of mercy? Do you see your spouse as God sees him or her-through eyes of mercy? If your answer to either question is no, it is unlikely that your marriage is sweet. Mercy sweetens marriage. Where it is absent, two people flog one another over everything from failure to fix the faucet to phone bills. But where it is present, marriage grows sweeter and more delightful, even in the face of challenges, setbacks, and the persistent effects of our remaining sin.”

A Kingdom Parable On Being Merciful

We live in a rebellious world, but we are not of it. Colossians 1:13 tell us that we have been rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God. So, we live in a rebellious world, but we are not part of the rebellion. We bow before the real King and declare subversively, “He is Lord.” We are the rebellion against the rebellion. – Ed Stetzer

Kingdom citizens are radically different because we have been changed by the Gospel and we are being transformed by the Gospel. This is regeneration, justification, and sanctification

Demonstrating Mercy and Forgiveness is not simply a psychological technique for managing human relationships—it is the work of God and the Gospel. It is the fruit of transformation and sanctification for Kingdom Citizens. We can do this because God rules our World and heart!

Matthew 18:21–35 (ESV)
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Overview of Mercy:

1. Mercy must be received.

1 Timothy 1:13 (ESV)
13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,

Romans 5:8 (ESV)
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Psalm 103:8 (ESV)
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 103:10–14 (ESV)
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. 14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

2. Mercy must be enjoyed.

Micah 6:8 (NIV84)
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

3. Mercy must be celebrated.

Romans 12:1 (ESV)
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

4. Mercy must be returned. (Don’t be like the un-merciful servant)

Matthew 18:32–33 (ESV)
32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’

Demonstrating Mercy In Marriage, Family, and Life:

1. Practice Kindness.

Romans 2:4 (ESV)
4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
Kindness that flows from a merciful God, preempts our sinful judgement.

2. Practice the Golden Rule

Luke 6:31 (ESV)
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

3. Refuse To Punish

Proverbs 11:17 (ESV)
17 A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.

4. Repent of Self-Righteousness

Self-Righteousness is a sense of moral superiority that appoint us as a prosecutor of other people’s sinfulness. We relate to others as if we are incapable of the sins they commit. Self-righeousness wages war against mercy. – Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do

An un-merciful response when we are sinned against can reveal self-righteousness.

Romans 8:26 (ESV)
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Matthew 7:4–5 (ESV)
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

5. Practice Forbearance. 

Colossians 3:12–13 (KJV 1900)
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

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About George Ross

I am a pastor, church planter, husband, and father of four.
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