Summary: The Mercy of God has the ability to change lives
October 20, 2002
Piggott Christian Church
D.T. ¡§The Mercy of God has the ability to change lives.¡¨
TITLE: ¡§A Great Salvation¡¨
¡§How do you know you are going to heaven?¡¨ -- Being asked a question while applying for a youth ministry.
At what point can you say, ¡§I am going to heaven.¡¨
ƒÞ We sing songs about it.
o ¡§I¡¦ll fly away¡¨
o ¡§I¡¦ll meet you in the morning¡¨
o ¡§When we all get to heaven¡¨
But at what point could we say, with all assurance that we will be in heaven?
We speak of justice and we might be tempted to say, ¡§all I want is justice¡¨ -- You don¡¦t want and should never ask for justice when speaking of the eternal. ¡V Justice would send you to the depths of hell.
There is something about mercy that makes it extra special.
A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death.
"But I don’t ask for justice," the mother explained. "I plead for mercy."
"But your son does not deserve mercy," Napoleon replied.
"Sir," the woman cried, "it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for."
"Well, then," the emperor said, "I will have mercy." And he spared the woman’s son.
Have you experienced mercy and grace? Has there been a time when you got what you didn¡¦t deserve? Our text this morning speaks of a God who loves us so much, he did something because of mercy. Don¡¦t confuse mercy and pity. You have pity out of guilt. God has mercy, not because of guilt but because of Love. His love for us, and for all people in every generation before us caused him to have mercy. If God had pity on us, Jesus wouldn¡¦t have left heaven, but because God had mercy, Jesus came in the form of a man. Read (Philippians 2:6-11). It was mercy that brought Jesus to the cross.
Turn with me this morning to our text 1 Peter 1:3-12. I see some movements about Salvation that Peter is speaking of. We have Salvation as hope
I. Salvation as Hope (3-5)
If you get nothing else this morning understand this:
The Mercy of God has the ability to change lives
a. Mercy at work
i. Gives us new birth
1. Not a new concept ¡V (John 3:4)
2. God alone has the ability to give us new birth
3. God alone has the ability to wash us clean
God is master of ¡§re-do¡¦s¡¨ ¡V Playing as a kid, I often needed a redo
ii. Living Hope
1. Connected with the resurrection
a. Paul thought the same thing (1 Cor. 15:13-19)
b. Notice the difference in joy
i. Before the knowledge of the resurrection
1. (John 20:15)
ii. After the knowledge of the resurrection
1. (John 20:18)
From Parade magazine comes the story of self-made millionaire Eugene Land, who greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in East Harlem. Mr. Lang had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth-graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered how he could get these predominantly black and Puerto Rican children even to look at him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart. "Stay in school," he admonished, "and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you." At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. Said one student, "I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling." Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school.