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The Divine Mercy of God

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The Divine Mercy of God

7 minuten leestijd

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Right at the beginning Paul places his finger on a very moving and tender spot: “Even when we were dead in sins.” That is a reality about which many no longer want to hear. Many wish to step over that spot and move onward to Christ. But if that awful state of death has never become a reality in our lives, why would we need to be quickened with Christ? No, when Paul speaks about that wonder of God’s grace, he does not stand looking or expecting something from what is dead. But in the text he soars so high and points to the moving cause of divine mercy. He does not look to the world; that is one place where we cannot find the reason why there is mercy and love with God for such deeply fallen sinners. He does not look to all the people who belong to the congregation; there too we cannot find the reason why there is such an eternal wonder as being saved by grace.

Perhaps you ask what the moving cause is, that a holy and just God can have mercy. We find that cause with God Himself. From all eternity, when there was nothing that could move Him, He was there moved from within Himself. There a holy and just God looked upon deeply fallen sinners. There eternal election lies firm with God in Christ. That is why we may say with holy astonishment that the foundation upon which the Lord builds His church lies immovable with God in eternity.

Who are those who may be built upon this foundation? They are people who were cast out of Paradise, from God’s communion, and who lay under a just and everlasting wrath. The wonder of salvation is that God came to ask for them. Who are they? They are people dead in sins and trespasses, enemies of God and of His salvation. But the mercy of God sought for them, reached for them. Then they came upon their knees, and the Lord awakened the publican’s prayer in their hearts.

Oh, the great love wherewith He loved them! For those deeply wretched ones, mercy flowed from that love. Who can measure that love, a love for enemies who sought to cast Him from His throne? That is a love the church can never admire enough. In holy amazement the church stammers, “Why me, when there are so many for whom there is no mercy?”

Has the Lord already taught you how it is possible for such a deeply sunken one to receive mercy? That is only possible in another—the only begotten Son of God, who came to stand in the breach which could never be bridged anymore. There He spoke: “Father, I will pay the price for sin. I will pay the price so that Thy love may seek them. Father, I will pay the price for them so an avenue may be opened unto Thy heart. Because when Thy love and mercy touches sinners’ hearts, then for them there is only one homecoming, and that is to the place they have lost, My Father’s love and mercy.”

Who can fathom the love of God? He gave His only begotten Son, to crush Him for hell-deserving sinners. Who can fathom the love of the Son? He gave His life and His blood to obtain righteousness for those unrighteous ones.

In the text Paul points to this wonder of God’s grace. He speaks to God’s people. That wonder came to them when they were dead in sin. There they were changed from dead to alive in and through the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ.

It is true, God’s leadings can differ from one to the other, but there are certain marks which are the same. When that change takes place, our eyes are opened. We now see the breach between God and our soul. We see that it is our sins which have made that breach. We now see that from our side it can never be bridged. Those eyes now see what it is to be lost, forever lost. When that change takes place, our darkness becomes enlightened with that heavenly light which shines within. There Paul cried: “Who art Thou Lord? What wilt Thou have me to do?” There John Bunyan, feeling the weight of sin, cried: “Lost! Lost! Forever lost!” When that change takes place, the Lord awakens a sorrow that reaches out unto the living God.

Oh, what a wonder it is when light may shine upon that avenue opened in Christ. When by faith they may look upon it, they weep, “Lord, plant my feet upon that avenue.” Standing upon it, they hunger and thirst for something that must now be applied unto their hearts, the blood and righteousness of Jesus.

Notice the wisdom in those leadings. The Lord closes every other avenue. We are so foolish that we always seek and want our own avenue, but the Father has only one avenue for His elect children. There He strips away all our righteousness. We are so foolish that we always want to maintain our righteousness. But the holy Father has only one righteousness with which He wants to clothe His elect children, the righteousness obtained by Jesus. The sinner comes to stand naked and polluted in that filthy unrighteousness that is ours.

What wonderful dealings those are when, prepared by the Holy Spirit, that sinner may bow under the righteous demands of a holy God. There the Lord can do no wrong. If He must cast me away forever, then that is just and right. What a wonder it is when the holy Judge announces, “I have found a ransom,” when that holy Child says, “Father, I have paid for him.” There the Lord causes such a wretched one to understand, “By grace ye are saved.” When the Lord presses that wonder upon the heart, then within a song awakens, “Through Thee, through Thee alone, because of Thine eternal good pleasure.”

Now there is a homecoming unto the heart of the Father. And there are times when that sweetness, saved by grace, may lie so warm within their bosoms that they long for that homecoming. Being saved by grace becomes an ever greater wonder when step by step everything outside of Jesus may be dried up. An old child of God once said, “I had many saviors who could not, but now I have One who can. He will bring me all the way, and then a holy Father will say, ‘I see no spot or wrinkle in him.’”

Dear reader, examine your heart to see whether or not you are a stranger of God’s work within. What if you come to the end of life’s journey and you cannot say, “Saved by grace”? Then you will say, “Lost! Now it is forever lost!” Oh, beg the Lord for conversion. That is still possible because the Lord still saves by grace.

— Rev. J. den Hoed
(Franklin Lakes, NJ)

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van zaterdag 1 juli 2006

The Banner of Truth | 24 Pagina's

The Divine Mercy of God

Bekijk de hele uitgave van zaterdag 1 juli 2006

The Banner of Truth | 24 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken