“Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
(1 Timothy 1:13-14)
A believer must never lose sight of the fact that he or she is a product of God’s mercy. There’s no other way to say it. God let you off the hook even when you didn’t deserve to be let off the hook. He forgave you for your sins, even though you didn’t deserve to be forgiven for your sins. God was gracious and merciful to you when you were still a sinner.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the
ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though
perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
Because of this, we should be willing to let others off the hook, to show others the same mercy we have received. Paul plainly admitted that he is no better than anyone else. In fact, he called himself the “chief” of sinners. The worst of the bunch. Now, the truth is, I think he said this only because he never met me. But you get the point.
Paul is saying that our lives are built on mercy and grace. This gives us two good reasons to show mercy to others. First, we show mercy to others because we have received mercy. “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13) Second, we show mercy because we need mercy. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
Some outside the church think the Christian life is all about judging and condemning and looking down on others. Unfortunately, some inside the church think the same thing. That’s not what this life is about. It’s about mercy. It’s about understanding God’s gracious gift of salvation through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.
It’s all about understanding that Jesus Christ paid a debt He did not owe in order to forgive us a debt we could not pay. I guess that’s where faith comes into this. Trusting by faith that God has met our need of forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ. And when we place our faith and trust in His sacrifice for us and commit our life to following Christ, we are forgiven the burnden of our sins and our relationship with God is restored to it’s original status at creation. Won’t you trust Christ today for your salvation?