Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chapter 14- The Mercy of God

"In endeavoring to study the mercy of God as it is set forth in Scripture, a threefold distinction needs to be made, if the Word of Truth is to be "rightly divided" thereon. First, there is a general mercy of God, which is extended not only to all men, believers and unbelievers alike, but also to the entire creation: "His tender mercies are over all His works" (Ps. 145:9): "He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts 17:25). God has upon the brute creation in their needs, and supplies them with suitable provision. Second, there is a special mercy of God, which is exercised toward the children of men, helping and succouring them, notwithstanding their sins. To them also He communicates all the necessities of life: "for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45). Third, there is a sovereign mercy which is reserved for the heirs of salvation, which is communicated to them in a covenant way, through the Mediator."

What I found very interesting about the previous chapter on grace and this one on mercy is that Pink writes of a general and special mercy of God directed at all mankind, not just believers. He wrote in the previous chapter that he believes that grace is strictly for the believer and that it is through the mercies of God that unbelievers enjoy the blessings of this world.

"Again; though it be true, blessedly and gloriously true, that God’s mercy "endureth forever," yet we must observe carefully the objects to whom His "mercy" is shown. Even the casting of the reprobate into the Lake of Fire is an act of mercy. The punishment of the wicked is to be contemplated from a threefold viewpoint. From God’s side, it is an act of justice, vindicating His honour. The mercy of God is never shown to the prejudice of His holiness and righteousness. From their side, it is an act of equity, when they are made to suffer the due reward of their iniquities. But from the standpoint of the redeemed, the punishment of the wicked is an act of unspeakable mercy. How dreadful would it be if the present order of things when the children of God are obliged to live in the midst of the children of the Devil, should continue forever! Heaven would at once cease to be heaven if the ears of the saints still heard the blasphemous and filthy language of the reprobate. What a mercy that in the New Jerusalem "there shall in nowise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither worketh abomination" (Rev. 21:27)!"

"Unspeakably solemn is it to see so many abusing this Divine perfection. They continue to despise God’s authority, trample upon His laws continue in sin, and yet presume upon His mercy. But God will not be unjust to Himself. God shows mercy to the truly penitent, but not to the impenitent (Luke 13:3). To continue in sin and yet reckon upon Divine mercy remitting punishment is diabolical. It is saying, "Let us do evil that good may come," and of all such it is written, whose "damnation is just" (Rom. 3:8). Presumption shall most certainly be disappointed; read carefully Deuteronomy 29:18-20. Christ is the spiritual Mercy-seat, and all who despise and reject His Lordship shall "perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little" (Ps. 2:12)."

"The elect are designated "vessels of mercy" (Rom. 9:23). It is mercy that quickened them when they were dead in sins (Eph. 2:4,5). It is mercy that saves them (Titus 3:5). It is His abundant mercy which begat them unto an eternal inheritance (1 Peter 1:3). Time would fail us to tell of His preserving, sustaining, pardoning, supplying mercy. Unto His own, God is "the Father of mercies" (2 Cor. 1:3)."

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