Blessed are the merciful (Part 2)

The Four Gospels   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:49
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Morning 9July 2023


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Psalm Reading

Psalm 55:9–11 ESV
Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go around it on its walls, and iniquity and trouble are within it; ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace.


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Matthew 5:1–12 ESV
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Matthew 5:7 ESV
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.


What is the Christians Motivation for show mercy?
It is NOT in order to receive mercy in return!
God’s people are motivated to show mercy by the mercy they have themselves been shown by God.
Mercy is one of God’s attributes...
Nehemiah 9:17 ESV
They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.
Nehemiah 9:19 ESV
you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go.
Nehemiah 9:27 ESV
Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies.
God is not merely Compassionate, but takes decisive action to help them
Mercy is a characteristic shown throughout scripture and summed up in James...
James 5:11 ESV
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Common Mercy / Grace

Paul’s Sermon in Athens ...
Acts 17:24–25 ESV
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
Pagan Poets quoted...
Acts 17:28 ESV
for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
It is God alone who enables human life to be sustained on the face of this planet.
Every atom and element that contributes to man’s survival is granted to us by a merciful and gracious God.
God is not an ‘absentee landlord’
Colossians 1:17 ESV
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Hebrews 1:3 ESV
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Without God’s sustaining power all would cease to exist
The Beatitudes for Today Motivation for Mercy

Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson put it, ‘There is nothing but God’s grace. We walk upon it; we breathe it; we live and die by it; it makes the nails and axles of the universe.’

The Beatitudes for Today Motivation for Mercy

Thomas Watson’s phrase, ‘Every time you draw in your breath you suck in mercy.’

Common Mercy Received by both Believers & Unbelievers
Matthew 5:45 ESV
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Saving Mercy

Ephesians 2:3–5 ESV
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
1 Timothy 1:13 ESV
though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
God's Mercy is balanced ...
Habakkuk 1:13 ESV
You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?
Psalm 5:4–5 ESV
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.
Nahum 1:3 ESV
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
God knows the cost of sin, and that is not lessened by His Mercy …
1 John 4:14 ESV
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
Jesus bore our sin on Himself
1 Peter 2:24 ESV
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
No one is worthy of God’s Mercy
Romans 3:10–12 ESV
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
The Beatitudes for Today Motivation for Mercy

When a godly preacher lay dying and a friend tried to comfort him with the assurance that he would soon receive the reward which his faithful labours deserved, he replied, ‘I deserve to go to hell, but God interfered.’

This is the believers testimony
By nature you are an enemy of God, paving your way to hell
The believer has had their sin washed away
Declared Righteous
Your sin is no longer held against you
You are worthy of eternal life
What is the Christians Motivation for show mercy?
Romans 8:32 ESV
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Being merciful is a result of receiving the mercy of God
Luke 6:35 ESV
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
The Beatitudes for Today Motivation for Mercy

Albert Barnes writes, ‘Nowhere do we imitate God more than in showing mercy.’

Giving to God

Proverbs 14:31 ESV
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
Jesus’ parable ...
Matthew 25:40 ESV
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
God is not interested on in religion, but the Bible is full statements that press God’s People to show mercy.
Psalm 82:3 ESV
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Acts 20:35 ESV
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Paul spoke of his ministry to the Gentiles ...
Galatians 2:10 ESV
Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
Galatians 6:10 ESV
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Modern Church Failure to apply this truth

In his book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, American author Ronald Sider writes, ‘If at this moment in history a few million Christians in affluent nations dare to join hands with the poor around the world, we will decisively influence the course of history.

David Watson Quote on modern Christians - 4 slides

British preacher David Watson is just as trenchant: ‘We have accepted a largely middle-class culture, with its worldly values and selfish ambitions, and have conveniently ignored the utterly radical teaching of Jesus concerning money, possessions and social standing within the kingdom of God. Most serious of all, perhaps, our lifestyle, both individual and corporate, is astonishingly different from the lifestyle of our Master whom we profess to follow and serve. We know (and preach) all about the grace of our Lord Jesus who, though he was rich, for our sakes became poor, really and extremely poor; but we do not demonstrate the same grace in our own lives. We have not become poor so that others might become rich. We have not even chosen to live simply that others may simply live.’

One of the articles in the Lausanne Covenant, issued following an international conference of church leaders held in Switzerland in 1974, reads as follows: ‘Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple lifestyle in order to contribute more to both relief and evangelism.’

Giving to God...
2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
We should give Humbly (Matthew 6:1-4) Be careful not to do your “acts of rieghteousness” before men to be seen by them. If you do you will have reward from your father in heavem.
James 2:14-26 Faith without Works is Dead

Forgiving Others

Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 ESV
bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Matthew 18:21 ESV
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Jews were taught by Rabbi’s to forgive 3 times
Peter is not told to count but rather lose count
Mechanism of Forgiveness
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Luke 17:3–4 ESV
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Do you have a forgiving Spirit?
The Beatitudes for Today Burying the Mad Dog

C H Spurgeon used to say, ‘Forgive and forget. When you bury a mad dog, don’t leave his tail above the ground.’

The Bible teaches to forgive, it does not though speak of sins being forgotten
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
God has fogiven completely and unconditionally
Your sins will not be held against you
Jesus will always show the signs of his sacrifice
Revelation 20:11–15 ESV
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Not Forgiving has a terrible consequences
Jesus taught parable of the servant who owed a high amount (approx £1m) but he was penniless and the king graciously forgave him
Matthew 18:27 ESV
And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
Matthew 6:14–15 ESV
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Multi-Faceted Mercy

Mercy means giving help regardless of the attitude of the person in need.
Mercy does not
insist on its rights
demand everything that is legally due
retaliate in the face of criticism
Mercy seeks to understand situations that at times seem beyond understanding
Mercy has defctive hearing when rumours are flying around
and refuses to join in condemnation without cause
Mercy is always prepared to give the benefit of the doubt.
The Beatitudes for Today Multi-Faceted Mercy

C H Spurgeon used to say, ‘My blind eye is the best eye I have, and my deaf ear is the best ear I have.’

Mercy is not limited to humans...
Proverbs 12:10 ESV
Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
The Beatitudes for Today Multi-Faceted Mercy

The nineteenth-century preacher Rowland Hill once said, ‘I would not give anything for that man’s religion whose very dog and cat are not the better for it.’

Covenant in Kind

Matthew 5:7 ESV
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed in the Merciful person, for they shall be shown mercy”
It is God’s Mercy that we...
become poor in spirit
mourn over sin
are meek
hunger and thirst for righteousness
The Beatitudes for Today Covenant in Kind

A W Pink points out, the Beatitude would then read ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain justice.’

1 John 4:19 ESV
We love because he first loved us.
The Beatitudes for Today Covenant in Kind

J C Ryle is perfectly right in saying that ‘to talk of merit or claim to God’s favour is absurd and preposterous’

Natural benefit
Proverbs 11:17 ESV
A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.
John Blanchard spoke of being taught as a child...
JOY - Jesus First, others second yourself last
Proverbs 11:24 ESV
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Luke 6:38 ESV
give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
The Beatitudes for Today Covenant in Kind

One prosperous businessman, asked how he could afford to give so much to Christian service, replied: ‘I shovel it out, and God shovels it back—and God uses a bigger shovel!’

When forgiving others
The Beatitudes for Today Covenant in Kind

the nineteenth-century writer and philanthropist Hannah More testified, ‘A Christian will find it cheaper to pardon than to resent. Forgiveness saves us the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, and the waste of spirits.’

Eternal Benefit
Jude 21 ESV
keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Conclusion: We have
changed from self-centred, self-serving sinners
reached out in mercy to those in need, and who know that by the grace of God they have become tolerant, gracious and forgiving, have cause to rejoice


Closing Prayer


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