Justice, Grace and Mercy

 

 

Let’s read three scriptures as we begin this study

 

 

11Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 20:11-15

 

 

9For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. 

2 Chron 30:9

 

1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Ephesians  2:1-5

 

Many times we hear of the justice of God

 

How he will one day judge sinners – and he will

 

How he will one day destroy this world and create a new heaven and a new earth – and he will

 

How one day, he will say, depart from me you that work iniquity – and he will

 

There is no doubt that one day the justice of God will be executed upon this world in which we live. And living under the shadow of the idea of a just God can put fear in your life unless you understand the relationship between Justice, Grace and Mercy

 

We have battles we fight, but the worst and most discouraging battle is with the flesh

 

Paul said it like this in Romans 7:18-20

 

18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Romans 7:18-20

 

Because of that sin comes condemnation.

 

I’m no good, I failed God again, I might as well give up and live for the devil because I wont be saved anyhow

 

The hardest person to deal with and to receive forgiveness from is yourself, because you remember your failings and your sins and may even wonder at times if there is any hope for you when you fail again.

 

Now many times we think about God in terms of his Justice and that’s why I brought this baseball bat, because we think of God in the terms of what he’s going to do to us, if we mess up just one more time.

 

Justice – receiving what one deserves

 

And when we think of God in terms of his justice, remember the scripture declares we reap what we sow, sometimes we can become despondent in serving God because we have done things perhaps, that if we received justice for them, would require and action from God and we would receive what we deserve.

 

Yet we see apparent contradictions in God’s justice in this present time, for instance have you ever wondered why perhaps someone in Christ, who has wronged you terribly has not received justice at the hand of the Lord and sometimes even seems blessed?

 

Lets look at all three definitions together:

 

Justice – receiving what one deserves

 

Grace – receiving what one does not deserve

 

Mercy – not receiving what one deserves

 

We can receive what we deserve – because of Justice

 

We can receive what we do not deserve – because of Grace

 

We do not receive what we deserve – because of mercy

 

Mercy is the opposite of Justice

 

Remember the opening scripture in Chronicles

 

for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.”

 

Many times we like to talk about the wrath of God and his justice and the world is going to be destroyed and so on and so forth not understanding we are not vessels of wrath!

 

22What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 

Romans 9:22-23

Notice what Paul wrote to the Romans

that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy

 

We are not vessels of wrath, we are vessels of mercy

 

The wrath of God is reserved for the children of Disobedience according to Ephesians 5:6

Let me turn your attention to the blackboard, and look at the greek definition for the children of disobedience

G543

ἀπείθεια

apeitheia

ap-i'-thi-ah

From G545disbelief (obstinate and rebellious):—disobedience, unbelief.

 

You see the wrath of God is not for the repentant, its for the obstinate and rebellious

 

According to John 3:36, the wrath of God is for those who will not believe on Jesus Christ

 

According to Romans 1:18 the wrath of God is reserved for those who suppress the truth and don’t preach what there supposed to

 

So to be a recipient of the wrath of God

 

You’ve got to reject the Lord

–or-

Walk in false doctrine

–or-

Be a child of disobedience which is full of unbelief, obstinate and rebellious

 

If you fit in one of those categories, you are heading towards judgment

 

And sometimes people feel like they are on a collision course with the judgment of God, your kind of like a ship in stormy weather without and of the modern things that are available, radar, gps, loran. And your tossing on the seas of life thrown about waiting to hit a rocky shoal and watch you ship slip quietly away from God and become shipwreck in your salvation.

 

When all of a sudden you see a lighthouse and though the seas still toss and life is still tough you avoid the rocky shoal and your ship doesn’t sink and the son does shine again another day

 

And yes that lighthouse on the seas of life is Jesus Christ

 

Letting you know you don’t have to be a vessel of wrath, but you can be a vessel of mercy

 

In the biblical act of redemption the greek conveys the notion of one entering a slave market and spending his money to buy a slave with the sole purpose of setting that slave free, he didn’t buy your salvation to send you back to the slave market.

 

I want you to understand the vastness of the mercy of God today

 

Jesus gave us these words in Luke 6:36-37

 

36Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. 37“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 

 

There are 3 points we can take from Jesus description of mercy

 

1)   Mercy is not judgmental

2)   Mercy is non-condemning

3)   Mercy grants release or pardon

 

We find in Matthew 18:26-27 more components of mercy

 

26The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

 

4)   Mercy exercises patience

5)   Mercy manifests compassion, or love in action

6)   Mercy forgives

 

So we can see that the characteristics of mercy are:

 

1)   Mercy is not judgmental – because judgment is justice

2)   Mercy is non-condemning

3)   Mercy grants release or pardon

4)   Mercy exercises patience

5)   Mercy manifests compassion, or love in action

6)   Mercy forgives

 

You may say your being merciful to someone but if your mercy does not contain these 6 ingredients, then your talking about grace and not mercy

 

Mercy looks judgment straight in the eye and bypasses it.

 

With judgment or justice, you receive what you deserve

 

With Mercy you don’t receive what you deserve

 

You may say Pastor, I don’t deserve to pray another prayer, I don’t deserve deliverance, I don’t deserve anything from God, I’m a low down, No Good…..

 

There’s a story told about Napolean, how he had a young man condemned to hang to the death for a certain wrongdoing. The mother of the young man came to Napolean begging for mercy, Napolean told that woman, your son does not deserve mercy, he will die. To this the mothers response is said to have been, mercy is not mercy if you deserve it! And Napolean set the young man free

Are you hearing me today, Gods mercy is not mercy if you deserve it

 

Because of his mercy you can receive grace to receive what you don’t deserve

 

Remember the definitions:

 

We can receive what we deserve – because of Justice

 

We can not receive what we deserve – because of mercy

 

We can receive what we do not deserve – because of Grace

 

Mercy is not mercy unless you don’t deserve it

 

Grace is not grace if you deserve it

 

Grace is only grace if your undeserving of it.