Gaudy Christmas - Gaudy Grace

Elder Word
Gaudy Christmas - Gaudy Mercy
This past Sunday, Andrew Johnson spoke on the topic of God’s Gaudy Mercy. This week I would like to expound upon that topic, for it represents the manifestation of one of the clearest indications of God’s love for us, both to unbelievers and especially to those of faith.
First, let’s remember that it is God’s desire that no one perishes in their sin, as 2 Peter 3:9 indicates.  
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
I find this fact bears itself out in 3 ways.
First, God is merciful to the unbeliever.  It is worth recalling that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), both spiritual (John 3:16, Matthew 25:46) as well as physical (Rom. 5:12).  
Furthermore, it is fitting to remember that unbelievers are not necessarily “bad”, but “dead”.  Ephesians 2 actually states that the unbeliever is ALREADY dead spiritually (Ephesians 2:1 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…”). This is what is meant when we use the term, “in Adam” (“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous”. Rom. 5:19). One is not a sinner based on what they have done. One is a sinner based on WHO THEY ARE, either “in Adam” or “in Christ.”  It would seem that every breath the non-believer (those in “Adam”) takes is a manifestation of God’s mercy toward them.  The righteous judge has “stayed” the punishment which is rightly deserved. This is a reflection of 2 Peter 3:9 we mentioned earlier.
Secondly, God is merciful to the believer, but it is different in its meaning.  The mercy we live in today as believers is a permanent state based on who we are and the purchase of that mercy through Christ (see Rom. 5:19 above).  As we recall that salvation through faith brings a change in merit-based on POSITION, not performance. As a believer, you have been “sealed” (2 Cor. 1:22, Eph. 1:13, Eph. 4:30, etc.), “bought” (1 Cor. 7:23, Acts 20:28, 1 Cor. 6:19-20, etc.) with an eternal transaction (Heb. 9:12).  Christ was punished for your crimes….you are changed, you are new, you are free.  As a believer, this is your new and permanent state. One who receives mercy.
Thirdly, the latter part of Romans 11 (Romans 11:26-32) discusses how the rejection of Jesus by the Israelites allowed mercy to be shown to the Gentiles. This discussion goes beyond our scope here, but is worth exploring, as it discusses how mercy has been made available to ALL, both Jew and Greek (Romans 10:12, Galatians 3:28).
Like Mr. T’s 6 pounds of flashy bling, suffice it to say that God’s desire to extend his mercy to all people is, well, ……quite Gaudy. Thanks be to God for His Gaudiness. He is Merciful.

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