Saturday, May 23, 2015

Exploring God's tender mercies in Romans 1

Romans 12:1 "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."

In yesterday's post we looked at what is meant by serving God from the power of God's tender mercies. Evidently Paul sees the need to underscore the need to present our bodies as living sacrifices from the standpoint of "the tender mercies of God". We explored the wider context of scripture with regards to how the Lord equips saints with His mercies to achieve what He commands them to do. Service to God would be impossible without knowing that He is for us. Today I want us to begin considering the mercies of God mentioned in Romans 1. In all there are around 70 such mercies in Romans 1-11! By the time we get through this listing, the reader will see why Paul by Divine inspiration wrote about "the tender mercies of God" in Romans 12:1.

All of God's tender mercies in Romans 1
1. Prophets 1:1
2. Incarnation 1:1
3. The Scriptures 1:1

These first three mercies are God's way of revelation to man about Himself. He didn't have to reveal anything, and yet Hed did so. 

4. The cross 1:4
5. Christ's resurrection 1:4
6. Effectual calling unto salvation 1:5
7. Preaching 1:5
8. Gifting of faith 1:5
9. Gifting of repentance 1:5

These mercies of God represent the "act" by which salvation was achieved (cross & resurrection) and by which it is applied (effectual calling and preaching). Our God is truly a merciful God. 

10. Covenant of grace 1:7
11. general revelation 1:18

Here we see God's method by which He approaches sinners in need of salvation - the covenant of grace. The covenant of grace is what He instituted in the Garden of Eden and was most chiefly expressed and fulfilled by Christ. Such a revelation of God's mercy is specific and saving insofar as the sinner responds by grace through faith. General revelation in creation reveals God's wrath against sin. God again is showing mercy by even revealing the fact that there is a particular problem - sin. Why is that merciful? Because if there is a problem - sin, then it necessarily follows that there be a solution - salvation. Moreover, the solution must come from God. As Paul writes more in Romans, we discover that the power of salvation is in what He wrote near the beginning, namely the Person of the Son incarnating himself in true humanity. God is truly merciful. He makes available everything needed to be reconciled to Himself. Outside of Jesus there is no reconciliation, no hope and no mercy. God desires to show tender mercy. The question is: will you receive what He offers by faith?

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