A Bible-believing evangelical church in the village of Wellington, near Hereford and Leominster.

Thought for the Day – 061

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Preached during the morning service on 21 May 2020 by .

Sermon Notes


DAY 61

Ephesians 2:4 — ‘But God, who is rich in mercy.’
Recommended reading: Psalm 136

The Mercy of God.

When we consider the characteristics of God, there is one area where confusion
is often evident: that is between the mercy, love and grace of God. The danger is
to lump them all together, and not be aware of the evident differences. So from
this morning I want to look at each one independently. There are similarities, but
there are also major differences.
We begin by considering the Mercy of God. In Psalm 136, the words, ‘for His
mercy endures forever’, is recorded 26 times. Mercy is clearly one of God’s
attributes, therefore it must endure forever. As we look at this part of God’s
character, there are three distinct aspects of mercy that we need to look at.

1. General Mercy.

Psalm 145:9 says, ‘The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His
works.’ When we reflect upon God’s mercy we notice that it extends to all of His
creation, believers as well as unbelievers.
Matthew 5:45 says, ‘He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends
rain on the just and on the unjust.’
Why was creation not completely destroyed at the fall? After all, everything was
affected by the sin of Adam and Eve.
There can only be one answer: In mercy God is delaying His judgement.
When God looks upon the world He created and sees such evil and godless
behaviour, why doesn’t He step in and destroy and eradicate the sin that is so
rampant in every area of life? The only answer can be His mercy.
Read Ephesians 2 carefully and you find that mercy is always seen in the context
of sin. We must thank God always that He is rich in mercy.

2. Specific Mercy.

This is shown towards people throughout the world. Unbelieving people can
experience God’s specific mercy.
Having a father who was very much involved with the Army during the Second
World War, I found it interesting to hear testimonies of men and women who
lived and fought during those dangerous days.
I believe we witnessed God’s mercy at places such as Dunkirk, when the clouds
were low and the sea was like glass which enabled us to bring thousands of
men back to our shores. They tell of remarkable escapes from hopeless and
sometimes impossible situations. When the danger was at its height, even
unbelievers prayed. God showed mercy to them in their time of trial.
How many, even in peacetime tell of miraculous escapes from potentially fatal
accidents — on the road, in the air, on the sea and in places of employment.
Why? It has to be God’s specific mercy.

3. Sovereign Mercy.

The mercies which God shows to unbelievers are only temporary. In other
words, they are for this life only. There is no mercy shown beyond the grave. This
is another reason why evangelism is so important.
However, sovereign mercy is extended to all those who have received
His salvation, and this mercy endures for ever. Why? Because mercy is a
characteristic of our eternal God.
Christ did not bring to us God’s mercy; the mercy of God brought Christ.
We must thank God this morning, and every morning, that He who is rich in
mercy, sent His only begotten Son to this earth to save sinners from hell, and
open the gate of heaven to people like you and me.
So while general and specific mercy are shown to all creation, His sovereign
mercy is only extended to those who are His blood bought children.
Ephesians 2:4 — ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with
which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive
together with Christ.’

Give to our God immortal praise;
mercy and truth are all his ways:
wonders of grace to God belong,
repeat his mercies in your song.

Give to the Lord of lords renown,
the King of kings with glory crown:
his mercies ever shall endure,
when lords and kings are known no more.

He built the earth, he spread the sky,
and fixed the starry lights on high:
wonders of grace to God belong,
repeat his mercies in your song.

He fills the sun with morning light,
he bids the moon direct the night:
his mercies ever shall endure,
when suns and moons shall shine no more.

He sent his Son with power to save
from guilt and darkness and the grave:
wonders of grace to God belong,
repeat his mercies in your song.

Through this vain world he guides our feet,
and leads us to his heavenly seat:
his mercies ever shall endure,
when this vain world shall be no more.

Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
CCLI – 1050955

Pastor: Kristian Dimond 01432 830002 07810 442523 pastor@wellingtonec.org.uk
Elders: John Roberts 01432 830100 john@dayone.co.uk
Keith Weber 01568 611251 07436 005561 keith.smallprint@gmail.com
Wellington Evangelical Chapel, Wellington, Hereford HR4 8AX www.wellingtonec.org.uk Reg Charity No 233810