It Takes More than an Act of Mercy

It takes more than an act of mercy to change our hearts.  The Spirit of God has to open our eyes to the mercy and beauty of God in Christ and give us a desire for it.  But there is truth in [Victor] Hugo’s central point [taken from Les Miserables]: mercy begets mercy.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 111

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Without This, How Can we Help Feeling Either Exalted or Dejected

Without this divine knowledge, how could we help feeling either exalted or dejected?  The Christian religion alone has been able to cure these twin vices, not by using the one to expel the other according to worldly wisdom, but by expelling both through the simplicity of the gospel.  For it teaches the righteous that they still bear the source of all corruption which exposes them throughout their lives to error, misery, death and sin; and [yet] it cries out to the most ungodly that they are capable of the grace of the Redeemer.  Thus making those whom it justifies to terrible, yet consoling those whom it condemns, it so nicely tempers fear with hope through this dual capacity…Grace and sin!  It causes infinitely more dejection than mere reason – but without despair, and infinitely more exaltation than natural pride – but without puffing us up [Pensees 208]

– Blaise Pascal as quoted by Tim Keller, in the forward to Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; location 138

Blessed Be God for Jesus Christ

Well, when we have said all we can of the abounding sin in us – grace still more abounds in Jesus.  We cannot be so evil as he is good.  His power is a good match for our weakness.  His riches are a good match for our poverty.  His mercy is a good match for our misery.  We are vile in ourselves – but we are complete in him.  In ourselves we have cause to be abased – but in him we may rejoice. Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.

– John Newton

as quoted by – Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 173

Thoughts on God’s Spiritual Mercies Unto His People

But let our final thought be of God’s spiritual mercies unto His own people (Psalms 57:10).  The riches thereof transcend our loftiest thought (Psalms 103:11).  None can measure it.  The elect are designated “vessels of mercy” (Romans 9:23).  It is mercy that quickened them when they were dead in sins (Ephesians 2:4,5).  It is mercy that saves them (Titus 3:5).  It is His abundant mercy which begat them unto an eternal inheritance (I Peter 1:3).  Time would fail us to tell of His preserving, sustaining, pardoning, supplying mercy.

Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 76

Grace is a Perfection of God’s Divine Character

Grace is a perfection of the divine character which is exercised only toward the elect.  Neither in the Old Testament nor in the New is the grace of God ever mentioned in connection with mankind generally, still less with the lower orders of His creatures.  In this it is distinguished from “mercy,” for the mercy of God is “over all His works” (Psalm 145:9)  Grace is the sole source from which floes the goodwill, love and salvation of God unto His chosen people.

Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 66