The Delusion of Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness

by Lee Buford on November 19, 2010

To be completely honest with you I have been wrestling through the topics and doctrines of grace, mercy, and forgiveness over the past several weeks. More specifically, I have been trying to gain a better understanding of God’s expectations of me in these areas, as a sinner saved by His grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

What I’ve come to understand is that we, especially those of us who profess to follow Jesus, LOVE grace, mercy, and forgiveness…when they apply to us individually. We treasure the fact that we have been the recipients of His grace, mercy, and forgiveness in our own lives, and we are quick to shout His praises as a result. On the other hand, we don’t do a very good job extending the same to others, individually or in our churches. Sure, we say we do, but our actions often indicate the opposite.

The following tweet streamed through my Twitter timeline this week and hit me right in the mouth. Read it and take a minute to let it sink in…

Does this resonate with you? It should.

I, like you, am the most undeserving recipient of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. We all are, and we say it because we should. That’s what “good Christians” do, right? But do we believe it? Do we truly get the message? Again, most of our actions indicate that we DON’T.

The following verses from Matthew speak to me in a profound way relative to this subject, and I pray they will to you as well:

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (5:7)

Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (9:13)

And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (18:33-35)

It should be clear to each of us that God is not only the provider of grace, mercy, and forgiveness, but He clearly expects us to do as He has done in this manner. Scripture is filled with His commands for His disciples to love one another, forgive one another, and extend mercy and grace to one another. In fact, in a fitting close to last weeks teaching at Renewal we looked at this verse from Luke:

He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (10:37)

You go, and do likewise.” YOU! ME! We are to go and do LIKEWISE.

I pray that each of us as disciples, and jointly as bodies of believers (churches), would take time to reflect on what the Word is teaching us, and that we would spend significant time in prayer asking God to show us the err of our ways, that we might turly repent and glorify Him in our treatment of others.

Casting Crowns wrote a great song, with a great message, “If We Are the Body.” More importantly the song asks some very pointed questions. It’s time for us to be accountable in answering some of these questions, and it all starts with you and me.

We must first embrace the need for the gospel daily in our own lives, and then extend the proper grace, mercy, and forgiveness to others. Don’t buy into the delusion!

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jeff February 28, 2013 at 10:27 am

Nailed it, thanks bro!!

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