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Mercy or Justice? 

Theme:

For there to be mercy, there must be justice 

Summary:

If one deserved God's grace, it would not be grace. 

A tearful mother begged the king for mercy on behalf of her condemned son. The king replied, "your son has committed a capital offense and justice demands death." "But," she pleaded, "I do not ask for justice; only for mercy." "He doesn't deserve it," said the king. "No, he doesn't," she admitted, "but it would not be mercy if he deserved it." The king granted mercy to her undeserving son.

The perfect law of God proclaims "all are guilty of sin" and "the wages of sin are death" (Rom 6:23). Thus, all men deserve justice, not mercy. Instead, Christ intercedes, "this one accepted my death as payment for their sins; they are mine." "Enter into the eternal kingdom prepared for you from the beginning," declares the voice of God's undeserved mercy.

Some perceive they have discovered an Old Testament God of wrath and a New Testament God of mercy. They presume favor in the eyes of the New Testament God that abolishes the justice required by the Old Testament law. The confusion is not in God, but in man's wicked heart (Jer 17:9). The Bible has not devised the character of God, like a novel. It has revealed it! God is the great "I AM," loving, merciful and full of grace; from everlasting to everlasting (Ps 90:2) ; the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Heb 13:8). His justice and mercy are absolute and without appeal.

Many rebel against any law or truth that confronts sin and unrighteousness. They also reject their own need for mercy and forgiveness. These conditions are not borne of ignorance, but of a greater love for the world's sin and evil, than for God. (I Jn 3:19). All who declare themselves sinless or deserving of God's love and mercy, are blind to God's truth (I Jn 1:8). How foolish to imagine a God who winks at the sin for which his only son died.

Sin and the law exist to reveal God's love and mercy. Without both, God's mercy and grace are abstract, incomprehensible concepts. At sin's heart is a lack of love and faith toward God, not bad behavior. Only those who by faith believe God and accept Christ as their personal Savior, become God's children. God has many creations, but few true children (Mat. 3:9, John 1:11-12, John 8:44, Rom. 8:13-17, Gal. 3:26-28).

God declares everyone guilty of sin, without exception or excuse! (Gal 3:22, Rom 1:20). God's mercy and love are then revealed by the undeserved death of Jesus Christ, on behalf of those who deserve only justice and death. All who trust God by faith and accept Christ's payment for their sin, receive mercy, in place of justice. They become forgiven children of God with eternal life. All who reject God's mercy and forgiveness, have only the justice they deserve and have freely chosen.

God's mercy first requires justice, from which one must be saved, or perish. If there were no sin and Salvation was automatic, Christ's death was in vain (Gal 2:21). Instead, a Savior is essential for all. It is only in the realization that one is hopelessly lost to justice's demands for destruction, that one can truly receive the Savior. Only then can one truly repent of sin and be saved.

The mother's son avoided death, because the king overruled justice with his mercy. Suppose the mother had not pleaded with the king or the son refused the king's mercy? Justice would still be required; or both justice and mercy must cease to exist. Who can plead for more mercy before God if the mercy he has freely offered is rejected? What sacrifice or love is greater than God's only son? Will self-righteous claims still boast to God from an open, naked heart? (Heb 4:12) No. All who reject God's mercy, judge themselves unworthy of salvation and eternal life and condemn themselves (Act 13:46,Jn 3:18, 12:44). (#42)  

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