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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
March 1, 2009
Mercy and grace. Two pivotal concepts upon which Biblical Christianity hangs. Without mercy and grace all men are condemned by their sins to God’s eternal condemnation in Hell for it is impossible for man to redeem himself by any means or method. He is born in sin (Psalm 51:5), and he confirms his sin nature with his own sinful acts (Psalm 14:1-3). The price for his sin is his own death, and even he could somehow find a way to redeem him from his past sin, he is still without righteousness in the present which would still condemn him (Isaiah 64:6). Without mercy and grace, man is without hope.
It would seem that with these two concepts being so important that they would be well understood. Yet we find that even within Christianity they are often muddled and even defined to be contrary to what they really mean. Such is the effect of the devil’s slander against God’s character that people will believe to be true even the opposite of what God has said.
Over the last couple of months we have been examining the first piece of armor that God has given us so that we might stand firm against the devil and his schemes. The belt of truth is essential for holding much of the rest of the equipment in place and giving us the ability to move with agility in our battle with spiritual forces of wickedness that are all around us. Truth is the foundation, which is why the devil aims his attacks at the truth in his effort to usurp God. If he can destroy the foundation, everything built on top if it will fall easily.
We have already exposed quite a few of Satan’s lies and slanders against God. We have examined God’s existence (See: The Belt of Truth: God’s Existence), God’s infinite nature (See: God’s Infinity), God’s truthfulness (See: God’s Veracity) and His wisdom (See: God’s Wisdom), God’s holiness (See: God’s Holiness), and last week, God’s righteousness and justice (See: God’s Righteousness & Justice) and His God’s goodness and love (See: God’s Goodness & Love). This morning we are going to concentrate on God’s grace & mercy.
Mercy and grace are very similar and are so often used together that they sometimes substitute as synonyms for each other. Both arise out of the goodness and love of God by which His compassion is extended toward those who are undeserving. Both the Hebrew and Greek words for mercy are also translated as compassion. However, there is some important distinction between the mercy and grace. We will first look at mercy.
God’s various attributes work in harmony with one another. We have seen over the last few weeks that out of God’s holiness and righteousness arises His justice which confronts man in his sin and renders judgment. At the same time, God is good and loving out which rise patience, longsuffering, grace and mercy. A.W. Tozer described mercy as “God’s goodness confronting human suffering and guilt.” Mercy, like all of God’s other attributes, is an eternal and infinite quality that has always belonged to Him and always will. It never has been nor never will be sporadic or temporary nor increase or diminish. God’s mercy stands as an eternal and boundless compassion. God has always been merciful toward His creation and just when that mercy is despised.
Those who like to contemplate existential theology might think that God was not merciful until He created something which would have a need for compassion and mercy. Such an idea is rooted in an evolutionary idea that God developed over time, but such is not the case. One of God’s attributes is being immutable. He does not change. He is the same today as He has always been and He will remain the same throughout the eternal future. God has always had all of His attributes in infinite measure whether or not anything existed upon which those attributes could be displayed. God’s creation of man allowed Him to reveal His mercy, but it had always been one of God’s infinite characteristics.
There are several Hebrew words that are translated as mercy, and their usage gives us an understanding of this concept of mercy. Mercy is often contrasted with its opposite of cruelty. For example, the prophet Jeremiah described some of Israel’s enemies as those who grab their weapons and who come with cruelty and without mercy (Jeremiah 6:23; 50:42). One of the reasons for God’s judgment of Babylon was that when He used them to chasten Israel, the Babylonians “did not show mercy to them,” even making their yoke very heavy upon the aged (Isaiah 47:6). By contrast God always seeks to show mercy even in punishment. In Jeremiah 31:20 God speaks regarding Ephraim saying that “as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly [still] remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him.” The nation of Israel was given comfort and a promise of a future restoration arising out of God’s mercy toward them and jealousy for His holy name (Ezekiel 39:25). In the Lord the orphan finds mercy (Hosea 14:3) and Habakkuk could pray with confidence, “in wrath remember mercy,” even when facing God’s promised judgment of Israel (Habakkuk 3:2).
Mercy in the Old Testament also carried the idea of a withholding of punishment. Job understood well that he could not answer God even if he were right and would instead have to “implore the mercy of my judge” (Job 9:15). Where mercy is withheld, there is destruction (Joshua 11:20). Job was so downcast in his affliction that he thought God was without mercy toward him and so felt as if his kidneys were split open and his gall poured out on the ground (Job 16:13). It is out of God’s love and mercy that redemption can come (Isaiah 63:9).
The Greek words eleew / elee and eleoV / eleos, are also used in the same manner with a similar range of meanings of compassion, pity and mercy. The mercy sought could be pity for physical afflictions such as the two blind men in Matthew 9:27 that cried out to Jesus for mercy that they might receive their sight. The Canaanite woman cried out in a similar manner to Jesus in Matthew 15:22, though the mercy she sought was for her daughter who was cruelly demon-possessed. The father in Matthew 17:15 sought the same thing for his son who was also demon possessed. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, recognized it as God’s mercy that she was going to have a son (Luke 1:58).
The concept of mercy in the New Testament also encompassed the withholding of or relief from deserved punishment. In the story of the Rich man & Lazarus in Luke 16, the rich man cries out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.” He desired mercy, but the opportunity for that had passed, judgment had come. There was now a gulf separating him from the mercy he desired. God showed mercy to Paul because of his ignorance while being a blasphemer, persecutor and violent aggressor of God’s church (1 Timothy 1:13). Paul’s message to the Athenians carried that same message that God had been overlooking the times of ignorance but was now calling upon them to repent (Acts 17:30). Our salvation is not based on deeds we have done, but is according to God’ s mercy (Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3). We wait “anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life” (Jude 1:21).
In the New Testament we also find that when mercy is withheld, there is destruction. Those who set aside the Law of Moses die without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses, and the punishment will be even more severe for those that trample underfoot the Son of God (Hebrews 10:28). Jesus pronounced a series of woes upon the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, for though they might be fastidious for minor points of the Law such as tithing spices, they neglected the major points of the law such as justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matthew 23:23). Those who have shown no mercy will not receive mercy in their judgment (James 2:13; Matthew 18:28-35). They were not merciful themselves and so would receive no mercy.
Webster’s 1828 edition gives a much better definition than modern editions. Mercy is “That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant.”
When God’s compassion confronts man’s misery, it provides relief for the suffering by offering hope for the present and the future. God works through His people to provide relief in the present. His promise of eternal life provides hope for the future. When God’s compassion confronts man’s guilt, it provides a means to satisfy justice and grant forgiveness. That means was the subsitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. Paul described this aspect of God’s mercy this way in Titus 3:3-6, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and [His] love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Peter described it this way in 1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Grace is similar to mercy, but also different. Whenever you find two words used in the same sentence in distinction from one another, then there is a difference in meaning between them even if they are similar. Paul and John both use mercy and grace together in their wish of greeting to those they were writing, and Hebrews 4:16 invites us to “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” because Jesus is our high priest.
What then is grace? First, like all of God’s other attributes, it is infinite, eternal and unchanging. Grace is another of God’s attributes that, though always existing, was not revealed until He had created the heavens and the earth and everything dwelling in them, and the fullness of its expression was not revealed until after man sinned.
The Hebrew and Greek words translated as grace (chanan, chen & cariV / charis) have the basic meaning of showing favor, grace, kindness. The modern dictionaries do a little better defining this concept than they do mercy, but Webster’s 1829 edition still does better with twenty entries defining different ways in which the English word has been used. The definitions that are of interest to us are the Biblical usages of grace. These include the following:
*The free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from Him (Romans 11:6 – “if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace”).
*Favorable influence of God, divine influence or the influence of the spirit, in renewing the heart and restraining from sin (2 Corinthians 12:9 – “My grace is sufficient for thee”).
*The application of Christ’s righteousness to the sinner (Romans 5:20 – “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more”).
*A state of reconciliation to God (Romans 5:2 – “Through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand”).
*Spiritual instruction, improvement and edification (Ephesians 4:29 – Speak “only such [a word] as is good for edification according to the need [of the moment,] that it may give grace to those who hear”).
*Eternal life, final salvation (1 Peter 1:13 – “fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”).
Mercy compassion that withholds deserved punishment. Grace compassion that gives undeserved merit and blessing. Both are found in the death of Jesus Christ as the substitute payment for man’s sin. Because Christ prayed the price of our sin, we can be forgiven and our deserved punishment can be withheld. That is mercy. Grace goes beyond the mercy of forgiveness to grant the imputed righteousness of Christ (Romans 5:17), adoption into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5-6), and the gift of eternal life with God (Titus 3:7). It is because of what Jesus has done for us that we can come to God in prayer with expectation of His help. We are coming to “His throne of grace” (Hebrews 4). It is because of God’s gracious character that we can have confidence to receive blessings that we do not deserve.
A.W. Tozer described grace as God’s “goodness directed toward human debt and demerit.” William Barclay said, “The word grace emphasizes at one and the same time the helpless poverty of man and the limitless kindness of God.” It is God’s grace that overcomes our sin debt, makes us alive in Him and lifts us up to become fellow heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
Denial of God’s Mercy & Grace.
Satan’s effort to usurp God extends to his slander against God’ mercy and grace. As in all of his other areas of lies against God, if he can get away with an outright denial, he will try. In this case, his denials of God’s mercy and grace strive to make God seem like an ogre.
Just as God’s attributes are intertwined with one another, so Satan’s slanders are also intertwined with one another. His lies against God’s mercy and grace often also encompass lies against His goodness and love. A common lie in this area is the idea many people have that God is the great cosmic killjoy. He does not want you to have any fun as proven by His many laws prohibiting the things man commonly desires. He then waits for you to mess up so that He can pounce and punish you for it. If that were the nature of God, He would be cruel and terrifying.
But that is not God’s character. His many laws are not to stop you from having fun, but to keep you from sin and its many consequences. Sin certainly has its pleasures, but they are only passing and soon give way to the terrible consequences. 1 John 2:16-17 tells us that the things of this world, the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the boastful pride of life are passing away. There will be no lasting pleasure in them. Just the temporal consequences of sin can be severe.
Proverbs 20:17 warns the thief, “Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.” The thief can have no peace for he is always at risk of having what he has gained stolen from him and of being discovered, so he has to lie to cover his evil. Proverbs 23:31-35 warns the drunkard, “Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your mind will utter perverse things. And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast. “They struck me, [but] I did not become ill; They beat me, [but] I did not know [it.] When shall I awake? I will seek another drink.” Proverbs 9:17-18 warns concerning sexual immorality, “Stolen water is sweet; And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are there, [That] her guests are in the depths of Sheol.” The long list of sexually transmitted diseases, several of which can be fatal, prove the truth of the Proverb and that is without even getting into the murderous jealousy that arises (Proverbs 6:32-35; 7:18-23).
God’s desire is your good. He wants you to have a future and a hope, not calamity (Jeremiah 29:11). He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). He is longsuffering not willing that any perish but that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Yet, there are many people that believe Satan’s lies and think God is without mercy or grace and anxious to condemn and punish them.
Another type of denial of God’s mercy and grace is the personal one that God cannot forgive certain people. This can be the judgment of legalistic people with their list of standards being the law which will determine who is eligible for forgiveness and who is not. Such people as that only have a caricature of God and not the real One. I have run into such people, and perhaps you have too, that claim to speak on God’s behalf, but their message is only one of hatred and condemnation without hope for redemption. Usually the only exceptions are for those who join their particular cult group. Their God is either without mercy or of extremely limited mercy.
More often this denial is believed from the personal standpoint of individuals that do not believe God can forgive them. They may well believe that God can forgive other people, but for whatever particular reason they may have, they believe themselves to be beyond His forgiveness. There are also those that give this idea the added twist that God cannot forgive them because they cannot forgive themselves. The truth is that their sin, like all sin, is against God (Psalm 51:4), and it is His forgiveness that they need. What pride to think they can limit God’s mercy and grace by their own self-centered pompous emotions. While it is good that they recognize the immensity of their guilt before God, the lie that they are unforgivable belittles the death of Christ and makes God impotent and unable to keep His word. Their supposed conviction of sin is the false humility of the sorrow of the world that leads to death instead of the godly sorrow that brings repentance and with it the hope of forgiveness (2 Corinthians. 7:10). The lie they believe will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, not because God cannot forgive them in Christ, but because He will not forgive those who refuse to believe and obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
There is only one sin spoken about in Scripture that cannot be forgiven, and that is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit committed by the Pharisees in Matthew 12 when they claimed Jesus did His miracles by the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons. Every other sin; covetousness, stealing, dishonor of father and mother, lying, adultery, sexual perversions, murder, idolatry, and even speaking against Jesus can be forgiven (Matthew 12:32). But what else can be done when the witness of the Holy Spirit is rejected and claimed to be the work of the devil? There is no other means by which a person can be brought to a conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment so that they might repent and believe (John 16:8-11). Paul lists out quite a few horrible sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, but then says in verse 11, “and such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.” God’s mercy and grace can extend even to the foulest human. You will not meet anyone that has committed the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit since the conditions for that only occurred prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, (See: The Unforgivable Sin), but you will meet many people that remain condemned in their sins because they refuse to believe God’s gracious offer of salvation to them through faith in Jesus Christ. Their unbelief is tragic, but it does not diminish the mercy, grace and faithfulness of God (Romans 3:3).
Over-emphasis on God’ Mercy & Grace
We once again find that if a denial of God’s attributes does not work, Satan can slander God by going to the opposite extreme and over-emphasizing an attribute to the exclusion of God’s other characteristics. That happens in the area of God’s mercy and grace in several ways.
There are those that magnify God’s mercy and grace to the point where they think He is required to be so even at the expense of His other attributes. One way this idea is expressed is that it is “God’s job to forgive.” While God is forgiving and will do so because of His attributes of being good, loving, kind, patient, longsuffering, merciful and gracious, it is not His job to forgive. God’s forgiveness will always be in harmony with all of His other attributes. He never violates one attribute to keep another.
God does not forgive because He has to do so for some required reason. He forgives and saves because He chooses to do so and has paid the price necessary to satisfy His other attributes so that He can do so. Martin Luther explained it this way. “God does not give grace freely in the sense that He will demand no satisfaction, but He gave Christ to be the satisfaction.” God is just in His mercy and grace because the penalty against His holiness and righteousness has been satisfied in Christ. God remains just whether that satisfaction is applied to any particular individual or not. God does not have to grant mercy and grace to remain just in all that He is. In Romans 9:15 Paul summarizes what God told Moses saying “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” God has mercy on who He desires, and He hardens who He desires as He did in the case of Pharaoh (Romans 9:18). God is not required to be merciful and gracious.
Another slander against God’s mercy and grace works off of the premise that God could not be merciful and gracious if He is going to punish people in eternal Hell, so they find ways to eliminate God’s punishment of people in Hell. Some people try to deal with the unpleasant thought of eternal damnation by simply denying the reality of Hell claiming it is contrary to their understanding of God. Others magnifying God’s mercy and grace so that in some way there is a universal salvation. Strains of this vary from no human ever being punished in Hell to everyone sent there eventually being set free from it. That last variation has been gaining in popularity in some churches that claim to be evangelical.
However, none of these ideas can be harmonized with the Scriptures, despite considerable effort to try to do so. The Old and New Testaments alike speak directly of a place where there will be eternal punishment for the unrighteous. Daniel 12:2 speaks of those who would be resurrected “to disgrace and everlasting contempt.” Isaiah 66:24 says of those who had transgressed against Him that “their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; And they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind.” Jesus spoke of both heaven and hell in Matthew 25 concluding in verse 26 that the unrighteous “will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Revelation 20:14-15 describes that place as the lake of fire into which the devil, death, Hades and all whose names are not written in the book of life will be cast. Getting rid of Hell may be an attractive belief for a variety of reasons, but the idea is completely contrary to what God has revealed to us about eternity. God is holy, righteous and just, and He will condemn all those that do not know Him and obey the gospel of the Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
The final lie I want to mention this morning is the idea that somehow you deserve God’s mercy and grace or that you can somehow earn it. The idea of deserving it is usually related to being part of some larger group. The Jews thought they should receive it as a blood heritage from Abraham. There are those professing to be Christians that think they are so because they inherited it from their parents. Neither is true, nor do you deserve it because you belong to some religious group. We receive our sin nature by blood inheritance, and we cannot be saved from it by physical lineage. Second hand faith cannot get you to heaven and neither can you get in as part of a group. You will stand before God alone (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:13).
The idea of earning God’s mercy and grace, though taught in some churches, is contradictory to what mercy and grace even mean. In Roman Catholicism, grace is redefined to be something you gain by participating in the sacraments. It is something dispensed by the church to your account. However, any element by which mercy or grace could be earned would immediately make them into wages paid. By definition mercy and grace are gifts. Both are undeserved. Mercy withholds the punishment deserved while grace grants undeserved merit. God’s mercy and grace come free, or not at all, for God will not have any man boast before Him (1 Corinthians 1:29; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Resting on Truth
We rest on the simple truth God has revealed to us in His word, that His mercy and grace are found in Jesus Christ. He has paid our sin price bringing into harmony all of God’s attributes so that we can be saved from our sins by His mercy and grace receiving His forgiveness and being justified before Him by faith in Jesus Christ. God’s mercy and grace are free to us in the sense that we cannot earn them or pay for them, but the price He paid to offer them to us was the infinite life of Jesus.
We rest on the truth that Paul expressed so well in Ephesians 2:4-10 in explaining God’s work in saving us from our previous spiritually dead and sinful condition. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly [places], in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Are you resting on God’s grace or in your works? Only one will get you to heaven.
The next sermon in this series is: (See Spiritual Warfare Part 12; The Belt of Truth, Part 9: Lies Against God’s Mercy & Grace )
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times the words “mercy” and “grace” are mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about God’s mercy & grace and how you can receive them.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What do mercy & grace have in common? Explain the concepts contained in mercy. What happens if mercy is withheld? How has God shown mercy to mankind? To you? Define mercy in your own words. Explain the concepts contained in grace. How has God shown His grace to mankind? To you? Define grace in your own words? What are the differences between mercy and grace? Satan tries to present God as the great cosmic killjoy who is cruel and terrifying. What are the purposes of God’s laws and commandments? What is God’s desire toward the wicked? Toward you? Why do some people think God cannot forgive them? What sins has God demonstrated in Scripture that He is willing to forgive? What sin will God absolutely not forgive? Can that sin be committed today? Explain. What is the Holy Spirit’s role in salvation? Why do some people deny there is a Hell? Why do some people advocate some form of universal salvation? What does the Bible say about the nature and purpose of Hell? Who is sent there? Why are they sent there? How long will they be there? Can mercy and grace be deserved on any basis? Why or why not? Can mercy or grace be earned by any means? Why or why not? What is the basis for God’s mercy and grace being extended to us? How can we receive them?
Sermon Notes – 3/1/2009
Spiritual Warfare, Part 11; The Belt of Truth, Part 8: Lies Against God’s Mercy & Grace
Mercy & grace are two pivotal __________ upon which Biblical Christianity hangs
The devil’s slander against God’s character results in people believing the ________of what God has said
Mercy – arises from God’s goodness & love by which His __________is extended toward the undeserving
“Mercy is God’s goodness confronting human _____________ and guilt” – A.W. Tozer
God’s mercy is an ____________, infinite and unchanging attribute revealed to His creation
Mercy is withheld from those who ___________God’s law & His Son (Heb. 10:28; Matt. 23:23; 28-35).
Mercy . . . “disposes a person to ____________injuries, or treat an offender better than he deserves”
God’s compassion confronting man’s misery provides ___________ for the suffering
God’s mercy toward man’s guilt provides a means to satisfy justice & grant ________________- Tit 3:3-6
Grace – arises from God’s goodness and love as an ______, infinite & unchanging attribute revealed to man
The Hebrew & Greek words have a basic meaning of __________________, grace, kindness
Grace is the free ___________love & favor of God and source of all God’s benefits to men – Romans 11:6
Grace is the favorable influence of God in _________the heart and restraining from sin – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Grace is the ________________of Christ’s righteousness to the sinner -Romans 5:20
Grace is the _________of being reconciled to God – Romans 5:2
Grace is the _____________of Spiritual instruction, improvement and edification – Ephesians 4:29
Grace is ___________________, final salvation – 1 Peter 1:13
Mercy ______________ deserved punishment; Grace __________undeserved merit
Grace ___________the imputed righteousness of Christ, adopts into God’s family, & gives eternal life
God’s grace ____________our sin debt, makes us alive in Him & lifts us up to be fellow heirs with Christ
Denials of God’s Mercy & Grace
Lie: God is the great cosmic killjoy that does not want you to have fun & is anxious to ______your errors
Truth: God’s laws are to ________you from sin and its temporal & eternal consequences – 1 John 2:16-17
Proverbs 6:32-35; 7:18-23; 9:17-18 – warnings to the sexually ____________
Lie: God ___________ forgive your sin. Claimed by legalists of those who violate their standards
Believed by people too _________to recognize their sin is against God (Psalm 51:4) & trust Christ alone
Believed by those with ___________sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10).
Truth: The ________sin that cannot be forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit – Matthew 12:31-32
There can be no repentance and faith without the Holy Spirit’s ______________(John 16:8-11)
God’s mercy & grace can extend to the _____________human (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Over-emphasis on God’ Mercy & Grace
Lie: God is ___________ to be merciful and gracious, it’s His job.
Truth: God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness are always in _____________with all of His other attributes
God forgives and saves because He __________to do so and has paid the necessary price of His justice
Romans 9:15-18. God gives grace to who He __________ and hardens who He wants.
Lie: Since God is merciful and gracious, there cannot be __________ damnation in Hell
- A) There is no ________ B) There is ____________ salvation
Lie: You ________God’s mercy & grace because you have the right heritage or belong to the right group
Truth: Neither blood heritage nor second-hand faith can _____. You stand ______before God – Rev. 20:13
Lie: You can _________ God’s mercy & grace
Truth: If it is ______it is not mercy or grace which come as free gifts only that none can boast – 1 Cor. 1:29
Resting on Truth – Salvation from sin is by God’s mercy & grace that come through ________________
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