Monday, May 25, 2015

God's tender mercies that draw you to Christ in Romans 2-3

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."

Today's post continues on to explore more of the tender mercies of God revealed to us in Romans. Two days ago we considered God's tender mercies from Romans 1 ( Romans is the perfect book to explore the theme of God's mercies, since Paul basis the remainder of His practical instructions in Romans 12-16 upon such tender mercies revealed in Romans 1-11. Amazingly enough there are roughly 70 such mercies listed throughout the first 11 chapters of Romans. We've considered 11 of them thus far in Romans 1 and in today's post we will explore 15 more such mercies revealed throughout Romans 2-3. When we think of how merciful God is to an otherwise undeserving people such as us, it truly staggers the mind! To aid us in our exploration, I will deem these mercies as the ways in which God draws us to Jesus Christ.

God's tender mercies that draw you to Jesus Christ - Romans 2-3
1. Riches of His kindness 2:4
2. Riches of His tolerance 2:4
3. Riches of His patience 2:4

These first three mercies of God are described as "riches". God lavishly makes known to sinners His tender mercy by way of the richness of kindness, tolerance and patience. God's endurance, giving space for repentance and kindness is so undeserving. No sinner will be able to say that God was ever unfair. Quite honestly, if God dealt with any of us according to fairness, all of us would be in hell. Let it be remembered that mercy is God choosing to withhold from sinners what they rightly deserve.

4. Justice 3:10
5. The law 2:17, 3:20
6. God's name 2:24
7. The conscience 3:15
8. The Spirit 3:29

These mercies may at first glance appear contradictory. How can God's wrath or justice and the law be viewed as merciful. Like we saw two days ago, God's revelation of anything about Himself or word of warning is an act of mercy. To be shown how dark and sinful we really are is merciful. Such information prompts us to want to find the remedy. Moreover, the same wrath of God revealed from heaven is the same wrath that the Father poured out on the Son. By bearing the wrath of God on His cross, we discover that in our confrontation with the wrath of God we flee to the only place of refuge - the cross. This is where God's name and His Spirit enter into the picture. No other name (the name of Jesus) is given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse the guilty conscience upon which God's law is written. (Romans 2:15; Hebrews 9:13-15) The Holy Spirit is the One Who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment and convinces sinners of their need for Jesus as Savior and Lord. (John 16:8-12) Lest the Spirit of God makes known to sinners the implication and saving power of Jesus, no sinner will willingly turn to God. Once the Spirit of God has acted on the sinner's behalf, we see more tender mercies turning us to Jesus, namely....

9. Regeneration 3:29
10. Righteousness apart from the law 3:21
11. Christ's redemption 3:21 
12. His atonement applied 3:25
13. His blood 3:25
14. God's forebearance
15. Justification 3:26

As we close out today's post, we consider these last seven tender mercies. Regeneration is the act of the Holy Spirit moving in and affecting the human heart to freely and willingly respond to the call of God in the Gospel. All the other mercies are applied at saving faith, with God's judicial pronouncement of the sinner's innocence in justification. Regeneration logically begins the miracle work of salvation, with justification pronouncing that salvation has truly occurred following sinner's trust of Christ in saving faith. So many mercies for a people who are ladened down by so many sins. Thankfully, mercy triumphs over judgment at the cross. Thank you Lord for your greatness revealed in your tender mercies!

More tomorrow

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