Friday, December 4, 2009

He who Confesses and Forsakes them will Obtain Mercy

“He who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13)

Do you want good news in a time when things seem to be going all wrong in this world? Here is the good news that never changes: “He who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” This is a clear promise from God’s word that those who confess and repent of sin will be shown mercy. Greater than earthly prosper is the reality that when we confess and forsake sin the God of the universe shows us mercy.

Transgressors ought to be put away from the One they transgress against. In this case the transgressions have been committed against a holy and just God. God would cease to be God if he were not just. Since God is eternal then the punishment for the crime committed is eternal. A just God has the right to punish the unjust eternally. God has every right, according to Scripture, to damn sinners to hell because of sin. Who has sinned? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) therefore all of us are unjust and deserve to be punished eternally.

The ESV uses the word “obtain” which means we “come into possession of” ( mercy. Is it possible for sinners to possess mercy? We just saw sinners deserve to be punished for all eternity for offending a holy God but here we read if we confess and forsake sin we will obtain mercy. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Doesn’t this make God unjust? It would if sin had not been paid for. The price was the greatest price ever paid for a debt that could never be made up by sinners. God had to send his Son to die in our place. Through the death of Jesus sinners are justified and God is still just. The Father crushed his Son so we could be pardoned from our sin. This is God’s mercy to sinners. God is still just because Christ made propitiation by his blood so the Father “might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). This is amazing! “He who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” because of Christ’s accomplished work on the cross.

Possession of his mercy is given from God. We do not take it because in our sinful state we do not want it but God kindly bestows mercy to us as sinners. We deserve eternal punishment yet in love, mercy, grace the Father gives us eternal life with him. Mercy includes forgiveness of sins, imputed righteousness of Christ and eternity in heaven with God. “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15)! This is our only response when our eyes are open to the reality of our sin against God. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). He loved us by nailing his Son to the cross so we could obtain mercy from the Father. With those new eyes we can humbly confess our sinful state and ask for God’s grace to help us forsake sin.

Christian, meditate upon these words. Let them sink in deep. If you have obtained this mercy praise God for this great gift. Your sin has been paid for at Calvary and now your righteousness is not your own but Christ’s. When we confess and repent of sin, through the work of the Holy Spirit, the Father gazes down and delights to see his children covered in his Son’s perfect righteousness. If you are not a Christian the first half of this verse applies to you, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper.” Sure you may prosper now in the eyes of the world but your soul is eternal and you will give an account to your Creator on the day of judgment. Stop concealing your sin, humble yourself and listen to God’s promise: “He who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

Grace upon grace,

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