| Sermon On The Mount
"Blessed Are The Merciful"
Matt.5:7, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
James 2:13, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."
A. We Cannot show mercy Unless We Have First Experienced It.
1. You can Not Give what you do Not Have.
2. You do Not Have what you have Not Received.
B. A Christian Is something before he Does something.
1. We are Not meant to Control our Christianity.
2. Our Christianity is meant to Control Us.
3. You don't Try to be merciful and live like a Christian --- You Are merciful because you have received mercy from God.
4. God first Deals with us in mercy --- then Makes us merciful --- them Blesses us for being merciful.
5. That which is Not A Natural Characteristic of our life Becomes the character and pattern of our life after we are saved.
6. The Hebrew word for "Godly" signifies "Merciful" --- the more godly --- the more merciful.
C. God in His great and immeasurable love toward us Never Confines Himself to giving us Only What We Deserve.
1. Even our Reward for obedience and service is so much greater than what we deserve that it Passes The Limits of Wages and becomes Mercy.
2. No one who understands the heart of God would want Him to be merely a Paymaster.
3. We want Him to act like a Father to us.
D. God's Mercy Overshadows all His Other Characteristics and Attributes.
1. God's Mercy found a way to Satisfy His Justice through the Sacrifice of His Son for man.
2. God would be Unjust if He allowed His Mercy To Cancel Out His Sense of Justice.
3. But, even in the Justice of God, there is Mercy.is sense of JusticeHis
I. What Mercy Is Not:
A. Mercy is Not Self-Seeking.
1. Some people are Merciful to those around them So That other will be Merciful To Them.
"One hand Washes The Other"
2. Some show mercy to the beggars by giving to them in order to Make Points With God.
Matt. 25:40, "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." --- V. 45, "Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."
3. Some show mercy and kindness when they think there is Something In It For Them.
Politicians --- Welfare --- Social Programs
B. Mercy is Not Merely A Feeling.
1. Pity is something you Feel --- Mercy is an Action you take.
2. True Mercy:
a. Meets people's needs,
b. Lends a helping hand,
c. Feeds the hungry,
d. Comforts the grieved,
e. Loves the rejected,
f. Forgives the offender.
3. Mercy throws off Racial Prejudices --- Cultural Bias --- Religious Self-Righteousness --- and Gets Involved.
4. True Mercy makes a Sacrifice.
C. Ephesians 2:4-5, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"
D. Mercy is Not the Opposite of Justice.
1. The law from Sinai proclaims Truth Without Mercy --- The Unregenerated heart desires Mercy Without Truth.
They desire your Mercy and Acceptance of their Sins --- Without the Truth or Consequences of their sins.
2. If there were Only Truth, earth would no longer be a place of Hope.
3. If there were Only Mercy, heaven would no longer be a place of Holiness.
E. It is for Our Highest Good that we should Suffer When We Do Wrong.
1. We learn Not To Do Wrong.
2. We learn that Sin Is A Terrible Thing.
3. Mercy Is a Strong, firm word --- there is No Weakness in it --- No Blindness .....
4. To be Less Than Just is, in the end, to be Less Than Merciful.
F. Mercy is Not Apathy Toward Sin.
1. Permitting evil to continue Unpunished and Unchallenged is Not Mercy.
2. Complicity in crime is Extremely Dangerous.
3. If people could count on Free Forgiveness or Mercy every time they sinned --- they would Become Morally Lax.
If God Accepted us As We Are --- without changing us --- there would be No Need For Repentance.
Jesus said --- Luke 13:3, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
4. It would lead them to Believe that there is Nothing Wrong in what they do --- Example:
A So-Called "Christian" Lesbian Writes:
Jesus Christ Is Someone Who Loves Me Unconditionally
I would like to offer a few words to lesbians who were raised with Christian teachings but find themselves questioning that way of believing. Don't reject Christianity because you can no longer literally accept what you were taught. Maybe you question if the Bible is the "Word of God" and instead believe that it was written by men, and feel that it was relevant in their time but not ours. Maybe you question if Jesus was the "Son of God," doubt the possibility of a "virgin birth" or of Jesus actually being raised from the dead, or even question the existence of heaven. I have at one time questioned or disbelieved all of these, and my beliefs still do not coincide with what many or most would consider "Christianity."
But I do believe in the one thing that makes me proud to call myself a Christian: I believe that this man called Jesus, this man that many call Christ, was a powerful and important person in the history of our world. When I read the records of his words and imagine what he was like, I know that he was a leader who I would have been proud to follow, and a teacher I would have loved to learn from. I know that he would have had high expectations of me, and would have wanted me to live a life according to a strong set of personal and social values. I also know without any question that he would have accepted me as a lesbian, and encouraged me to value myself as a woman, despite what men in the ancient world and in our current times say about such things.
- , born to a virgin, and raised from the dead? Is the Bible truly the word of God? My questions about those things do not keep me from knowing that Jesus Christ is someone who would have loved and accepted me unconditionally, or from reading his teachings and understanding their importance even today. I am a Christian because I try to live a life that this man Jesus would be proud of. To me, that is enough, because that is the raw essence of what Christianity should be all about."
Was Jesus truly the son of God
5. We Must Not read this Beatitude, "Blessed are they who condone the sins of others, for their sins shall be condoned."
6. The Truly Merciful spirit comes to us, not as we seek to Minimize Our Sin --- but as we learn to Magnify God's Love.
II. How Does Mercy And Punishment Work Together?
A. Mere Punishment is usually quite Useless as far as Changing a sinner is concerned.
1. The Law Has No Power To Convert the sinner.
2. Locking a person up in jail is not being merciful to him.
3. The Law Can Not Change People For The Better --- he is only Angered and Hardened that much more.
4. Punishment Without a Genuine Interest in the person makes Bad People Worse.
5. A bad person may indeed Need To Be Locked Up in jail --- But Mercy would Insist that someone takes a Personal Interest in him.
B. Mercy involves the Responsibility of Doing Something For the sinner --- while Limiting The Harmfulness of his sins.
1. Mercy is Concerned with people and their Need for the Grace of God and Not Merely the Restriction of Evil.
2. Evil can only be Restricted by the Conversion of sinners into children of God.
3. There Must Be a Personal Interest behind the social restriction of evil --- and this personal interest Must Be In Their Souls.
C. Christ Hated The Sins of the people but He continued to Love The People.
1. Their Sin was Repulsive to His Holiness and Purity.
2. But, Their Needy Souls Made Him Seek Them Out.
3. He rarely needed to condemn them --- His Presence was sufficient to make them Condemn Themselves.
4. Though He Knew All the vileness of their sin, He Did Not Withdraw From Them.
D. Jesus insisted on going where Sin Abounded because only in that way could Grace and Mercy Much More Abound.
1. Christ Did Not wash His hands of those who hated Him and sought to harm Him
2. Mercy Sees every Sinner as a would be Saint and Treats Him That Way.
3. God Punishes The Evil but seeks to Redeem The Sinner and does not rest until He has used Every Possible Means to do so.
E. The Natural Man takes an almost Fierce Pleasure in seeing Bad People Suffer.
1. Rejoicing when Capital Punishment is carried out.
2. They are like Spectators at the Roman Coliseum.
3. They do Not Care that the sinner should cease to be a sinner, they simply Want To See Him Suffer.
F. Unmercifulness is the Sin of the Heathen.
Rom. 1:31, "Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:"
1. It is the greatest Disgrace To A Christian to be Unmerciful --- It is then that we become More Like The Heathen.
2. When you Put Off the bowels of Mercy you Put Off the Badge of Christianity.
a. The Unmerciful man is an Unthankful man.
b. The Unmerciful man Lacks Love to Christ
3. Christlessness in any society means Mercilessness.
a. Culture of Greece .....
b. Roman Coliseum .....
c. Herod and the slaughter of Babies .....
4. There has Never been Discovered a solitary trace of such an institution as a Hospital in the whole wild world prior to the dawn of the Christian age.
5. Christ did not say, "Ye took away my meat" --- but "Ye gave me none."
Matt. 25:41-43, "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not."
6. Dives denied Lazazrus a Crumb of bread and Dives was denied a drop of Water.
III. Mercy Does Not Carry With It It's Own Reward.
A. Man Is Not Naturally Merciful.
1. The human heart is Not so naturally kind and gracious and loving that it Automatically Responds To Kindness With Kindness.
2. The Natural Heart Is Selfish.
a. Tends to view one who is Kind as being Soft.
b. Thinks of a Merciful Person as one who can Easily be Taken Advantage of.
B. If Mercy Carried With It It's Own Reward, there would have been No Cross.
1. There is No Better Illustration of one who showed mercy than The Lord Jesus Christ.
a. But, He Received No Mercy and was Rejected and Crucified.
b. A Merciless Religious System that could tolerate no rebellion, no criticism, no competition, crucified Christ.
2. In spite of the fact that the Roman governor at Jesus' trial, Six Times Over, declared Him to be Innocent, yet he agreed to Condemn Him To Death.
3. The Merciless power of Rome did Not Respond to the Mercy of Jesus.
IV. Mercy In Return For Mercy Comes From God, Not From Man.
A. In This Life --- He Shall Be Blessed:
1. In his Name.
Psa. 112:6, "... shall be in everlasting remembrance."
2. In his Estate.
Prov. 11:25, "The liberal soul shall be made fat: ..."
3. In his Posterity.
Psa. 37:26, "... his seed is blessed."
4. In his Negotiations.
Deut.15:10, "... for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto."
5. With Long Life.
Psa. 41:2, "The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; ..."
B. In The Life To Come.
1. Prov. 19:17, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again."
2. Matt. 10:42, "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."
V. What Is Real Mercy?
A. Mercy is Not so much being Sorry That You Have Been Injured, but Sorry That The Offender Would Have The Heart To Do Wrong.
1. Hate men and you will be More Miserable than they.
2. All Memory of wrong Fades from the Merciful man.
B. The Greek word for Merciful (ele-eemoon) means:
1. The ability to get right Inside Another Person's Skin, so that we:
a. See things with his Eyes,
b. Think things with his Mind,
c. Feel things with his Emotions.
2. It involves our Identification with the other person and seeking to Do For Them what we would like to be Done For Us if we were in their position.
3. Isn't This What The Lord Did For Us?
a. He Identified Himself with us sinners.
b. He took upon Himself Our Own Sins,
c. He tasted the Consequence of Sin --- death in His own body.
d. In being merciful to us, the Lord Jesus actually crept under the skin of flesh and blood and Became Man.
e. Try being merciful in this manner when you meet a person without Christ.
C. We are often tempted to Dismiss The Misery of Others as "Sob Stories".
1. Life may be Dull for you, in spite of all your possessions, because you have not tried to Brighten The Life of Another By Showing Mercy.
2. Mercy does Not Ask --- "Does he Deserve relief?"
a. If God were to show mercy only to the Innocent, Where Would You Be?
b. Did You in any way Deserve the mercies of God when you were Saved?
c. Do you Now Deserve any of the mercies of God?
3. Mercy simply ask --- "Does He Suffer?"
4. This does not mean that you should allow yourself to be imposed upon --- if you Detect Evidences of Hypocrisy, rebuke it.
D. There Is A Right And Wrong Way of Doing Even Good Things.
1. Rom. 12:8, "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."
2. The Greek word translated Cheerfulness (hilarotees) means Hilarity.
3. Giving, when Not Inspired By Love and a Desire To Help, Ceases to be giving at all.
4. The Christian is to show Mercy with Hilarity, as if he were finding Tremendous Joy in it.
5. Deut. 15:10, "Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him:"
6. We should be Thankful that we are in the number of Givers and not Receivers.
7. The Way in which we do a good deed is As Important As The Deed Itself.
E. The Mercy of God After Our New Birth and initial forgiveness Is In Proportion To Our Being Merciful to others.
1. When we First Experienced the mercy of God, it was absolutely Undeserved and Unmerited.
2. After we are saved, God's mercy is granted to us According To How We grant mercy to others.
a. Matt. 6:14-15, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
b. Matt. 18:35, "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."
c. Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
3. The Degree of Our Forgiving others Will certainly Influence the Lord to exercise a Greater or Lesser measure of mercy toward us.
4. He who Gives will Receive More than he Gives.
5. Woe unto us if God should deal with us according to His Justice Without Mercy.
James 2:13, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy;"
6. A man who has experienced the mercy of God cannot help but show mercy to others.
F. A Curse hangs over the head of the Unmerciful Man.
Psa. 109:6-16, "Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. 7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. 8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office. 9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. 10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. 11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. 12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. 13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. 14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. 16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart."
G. Examples of Mercy:
1. Mrs. May Moody Whittle, D. L. Moody's daughter-in-law was asked what was her outstanding memory in the life of Dwight L. Moody. She answered, "He could tell his children that he was wrong and ask them to forgive him."
2. Spurgeon said, "It is certain that the Good Samaritan Got More out of the poor man whom he found between Jerusalem and Jericho than the poor man got out of him. He had a little oil and wine, and two-pence, the expenses at the inn, but the Samaritan got His Name In The Bible, and there it has been handed down to posterity --- a wonderfully cheap investment; and in everything that we give the blessing comes to those who give it, for it is more blessed to give than to receive."
3. Abraham --- after he was wronged by his nephew went after him and secured the deliverance of Lot.
4. Joseph --- After his brethren had mistreated him --- forgave them.
5. Moses --- After Miriam had rebelled against him and the Lord had smitten her with leprosy, prayed:
Num. 12:13, "And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee."
6. David --- spared the life of his arch enemy Saul.
VI. Mercifulness Is The Gauge of Our Christlikeness.
A. This Mercifulness is Related To The Law of Forgiveness.
1. The Exercise of Forgiveness entails the Possession of Forgiveness.
a. If you do not Possess For The Purpose of Giving, then you don't possess at all.
b. That which is Not Used Dies.
2. Mercifulness is due to the Work of Christ.
a. It is Not A Natural Inclination of Man.
b. It is a Christian Grace.
B. The scribes and the Pharisees had a Righteousness that was Their Own.
1. It was Only Fit to be their own.
2. They had a Hard-Heartedness:
a. A cruelty,
b. An indifference to the wrongs and the suffering of others.
C. The idea of Showing Kindness And Pity to a stranger or an enemy never entered the old world until Christianity Emphasized The Obligation.
1. As they See Our Happiness In The Exercise of Mercy, they cannot but be Attracted To The Saviour whose mercy we manifest.
2. Real mercy is of benefit even to our enemies and Never Expects Repayments.
D. Mercy Is Governed By Certain Principles:
1. We should Not Be Quick To Suspect.
a. The prisoner should get the benefit of every doubt?
b. Justice never sentences on Suspicion.
2. The Tongue needs a Double Portion of mercifulness.
a. There is as much Wickedness In Believing A Lie as in Telling it.
b. There would be No Slanderers if there were No Receivers and believers of slander.
c. It is great Cruelty to Murder a man in His Name.
3. When You Hear a derogator story about a brother, believe it as Readily As you would want someone else to believe a similar story about yourself.
4. The Merciful Are Too Aware of Their Own Sins to deal with another in sharp condemnation.
5. There is Never A Moment in our lives that we are Not In Need of Mercy.
VII. From Whence Does Mercy Come?
A. 1 John 3:16-17, "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world. s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"
B. If We Possess Christ, then we will Demonstrate His Dispositions And Actions.
1. God delights in nothing so much as the Showing Forth of His Mercy.
2. The Condemnation of a sinner Grieves God --- but to Forgive, without violating His justice Gladdens Him.
Ezek. 33:11, "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"
C. The Demonstration of God's Mercy is the natural outcome of his character.
1. The Condemnation that God brings upon man is a duty Imposed Upon Him by man's unrepentant state.
2. In nothing does God Delight more than in the Exercise of Mercy.
a. 1 Tim. 2:4, "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
b. 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
D. We are Most Like God when we are Merciful.
1. The more truly Holy we are, the more Merciful we are.
2. Hosea 11:9, "I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; ..."
a. The More Human we are, the More Merciless we are.
b. The More Divine we are, the More Merciful we shall be.
3. If you are Not Characterized By Mercy, your religion and salvation are a Mockery and a Delusion.
E. The main characteristic of God's Mercy is that it is Undeserved By Man.
1. This mercy regards not merely the Body of men but also their Souls.
2. The preaching of the Gospel is but showing Mercy For Souls.
F. Who on earth is Most In Need of Mercy?
1. Men who have Lost Material Possessions, or
2. Men with great material possessions but who are on the Way To Hell Without Christ.
3. If a Man's House Were On Fire, and I see it but do not tell him for Fear of Waking Him, is not this Cruelty?
4. If I Weep for that Body From Which The Soul Is Departed, how much more should I weep for that Soul From Which God Is Departed?
That Is True Mercy!
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If You Are Not Saved, Nothing Else Matters