Merciful Love

The written Word of God declares that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:6) and the time for the events of Revelation 6 to 19 draw near to be fulfilled. However, the good news is that in love God offers mercy to all.
Merciful Love
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete)

It is certainly true that God is love (1 John 4:8 and 16), but His holiness is seldom considered among many who name the Name of Christ. To minimize, and even eliminate, even just the mention of His holiness deprives us of a deeper understanding of His love. The verses just noted about God being love are really defined in the opening verses of 1 John where it is stated in verse 5, ". . . God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all."

Though God loves people, that which is sinful cannot dwell with the holy

God and is automatically consigned to eternal damnation once they leave this life. But God, through Christ, the Son, has made the Way for cleansing, as well as abundant life now and Eternal Life. This blessed truth is presented in various ways throughout the Holy Bible.

Very often in the New Testament there are some brief statements of this merciful love, and although they are brief, they are beautiful. One such beauty of the passion of Jesus Christ is Galatians 1:4, "who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father." From this we will see the following things about His merciful love.

I. Devotion 4a

“who gave Himself for our sins . . .”

Christ mercifully loved us when He humbled Himself to be man, taking our flesh upon Himself (Philippians 2:5-7). Because of this devotion we are to respond in love and humble ourselves, submitting to the will of God. We are enabled to do this if Christ dwells within us. Becoming like us He was led by the Holy Spirit, just like we are to be.

Jesus humbled Himself to die on the cross, a very agonizing and shameful death. This was part of the penalty for our sins. In loving response we must take up our cross (Matthew 16:24) and follow Him. This means to die to self (Galatians 2:20) and live for Him by the empowerment and direction of His Holy Spirit.

But His devotion to us went far deeper than physical death. The Word of God tells us He actually became our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and therefore received the punishment due to us. That verse in 2 Corinthians also tells us He became our sin “that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." Therefore our loving response to Him should be to let Him live through us unto the glory of God.

The Word of God declares He actually became a curse (Galatians 3:13), “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’.” As a result, all curses against any true child of God have been canceled. In return we should renounce all sin and become a blessing to God and to others.

All of this, becoming a man, dying on the cross, receiving our sin, taking our punishment, being made a curse, and more, is expressed in the words of Christ when He said (John 15:13), “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." When we truly receive Christ as our Savior and Lord we become friends with God. As a result, we can enjoy the blessings of Christ.

II. Deliverance 4b

“. . . so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, . . . ”

Before we look at “this present evil age” it would be good to remember that the wrath of God upon the disobedient is coming. This truth, just like salvation, is found throughout the Holy Bible. When we surrender to Christ we are rescued from sin, our own self, the wrath of God, and much more.

It is interesting to see that “evil” for this “present evil age” has two main meanings {1}, and I feel they both apply to this verse. The first meaning for “evil” in this verse is, “full of labors, annoyances, hardships,” further defined by Strong as “pressed and harassed by labors” and “bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness; causing pain and trouble." As you can see, true Christians might have to go through those things, but the point is that such occurrences do not destroy us but can become tools of God to be used with our will in Him to perfect godly character within us.

Part of this first main definition by Strong reminds me of when a son was born to Lamech and he called his name Noah, meaning “rest”, because he felt (Genesis 5:29) “This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which YHVH has cursed.” Lamech thought his son was the promised seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) which would later be referred to as the Messiah (Christ), but he was not. You can see from Genesis 5:29 that after a number of generations the main purpose of the coming seed of the woman, redemption from sin, was obscured by the desire to have rest in labor.

The main purpose of the Messiah was to address the


second main definition for the word “evil” in Galatians 1:4. That definition is “bad, of a bad nature or condition” and “evil wicked, bad." One way in merciful love Christ came to rescue us from this present evil age is that we are crucified in Him and raised to newness of life. Our sinful nature would drag us down into the evil but those in Christ have been made free in Him.

It is noted in the Word of God that we were at one time part of the present evil age, but when we surrendered to Christ we were taken out of it and placed in Christ’s Kingdom. It is written in Colossians 1:13-14, ‘For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

III. Direction 4c

“. . . according to the will of our God and Father."

First of all, God is not willing any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), but each person must decide to accept God’s will for them. Upon truly doing so they become the children of God (John 1:12). At this point they have been rescued from this present evil age. However, they must continue to grow in Him otherwise the forces of this world will draw heavily upon them and bring them back into darkness.

In the physical realm a child must eat in order to grow. For the spiritual realm Christ said in John 6:51, "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." As we learn more of Christ through the written Word, the spoken Word, and obedience to the same, we take on more of His character during the course of time. The fruits of the Holy Spirit become evident in our life and we become partakers of His divine moral nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Christ also said we are to drink His blood. Our own physical blood does a number of tasks such as bringing oxygen to our cells and transporting away certain wastes. When I think of the blood of Christ I think of salvation which brings us spiritual life. Then, there is also that spiritual cleansing as declared in 1 John 1:7, "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."

While having fellowship with one another is mentioned in that verse, fellowship with God through Christ is indicated when it speaks of walking in the Light. Just as physical blood continually moves through us to keep us alive, so we must continuously fellowship with Christ to keep spiritually alive.

All said, in His merciful love God lovingly desires the best for us and offers it to us. What He offers is much better than anything in the world. Unlike the world and the things of it {2}, His salvation in Christ gives anyone who trusts in Him abundant life now as well as Eternal Life.

Notes:

{1} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{2} Please read Eternal Choices For Your Soul at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/eternal-choices-for-your-soul  .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by November 30, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M424 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 15-10-2016 53 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    Our consolation on earth is to know and see that God loves us and cares for us and in spite of all, can overturn the situation of the oppressed.
    reply 0
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