Friday, February 11, 2011

Grace, Mercy and Peace from God


“Grace, mercy and peace from God” (1 Timothy 1:2)

Can you imagine receiving a letter with this greeting? I think because we read it often from the apostle Paul the magnitude of what he is saying slips our minds. We kind of glance over it like it is no big deal. Reminds me of the song Amazing Grace which is sung so often that singing it becomes common rather than a reminder of God’s amazing grace. But we should not glance over these words: “Grace, mercy and peace from God.”

Grace is simply unmerited favor. If you want a more theologically rich definition of grace then I could say something like…unmerited favor. Those two words carry so much weight. Grace is getting what we do not deserve and it is only by grace that sinners are saved. Please just read and be reminded of grace: “For by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not your own doing it is the gift of God, not by work so that no man may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). “For all have sinned and fall sort of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom. 3:23-25). “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). Then one of my favorites: “And from his [Christ’s] fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16).

Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. What every human being does deserve is God’s holy justice. We have all sinned against our Creator therefore we all deserve hell. But “Great is your mercy, O LORD” (Ps. 119:156). This is good news. God says, “His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50). If you will cry out, “Lord have mercy” he promises to have mercy. He is a God of mercy. “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Ps. 145:8). Acknowledge to him that you are a sinner deserving of hell and plead for his mercy and grace. If you will repent of your sins he will show mercy. “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trepasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:4-5). As his children his mercy continues through every aspect of our lives. He tells us to conidently draw near to his “throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need” (Heb. 4:16). This is only possible through our great High Priest Jesus Christ who alone gives us access to the Father. We deserve hell yet through Christ we receive access to the throne of grace. Grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy.

Peace is inner contentment. Only by God’s grace and mercy can we have peace with God. Our souls are not content until they find rest in God alone. “May the LORD bless his people with peace” (Ps. 29:11)! What a great promise. One of my favorites in found in the book of Romans when Paul writes, “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

Paul’s word are not to be thrown to the side but are there to remind us of God’s grace, mercy and peace provided in his Son, Jesus Christ. May we be comforted by these words. May we rejoice in what these words mean for eternal state. If you are not trusting in Christ then these words may have no significant meaning at all to you. I would encourage you to pick up a Bible and read about the great God of grace, mercy and peace. Do not delay another day to know this great God. If you are trusting in Christ for salvation be refreshed by Paul’s words: “Grace, mercy and peace from God.”

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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