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Summary: Fifth in a series concerning the attributes of God and how to reflect them to others.

KNOWING GOD –3b

God’s Compassion, Mercy, and Forgiveness, Part 2

Matthew 18:21-35

Introduction

Last week we began what I had intended to be a one-week look at God’s compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.

But as you know, we were not able to cover all of our outline, due to the amount of material we had to cover to lay an appropriate foundation for the rest of the outline.

This morning we are going to finish up this topic, and Lord willing, next week we will look at God’s grace.

Before we finish this week’s outline, I want to take a few moments to review what we covered last week.

First, we talked about God’s compassion, mercy, and forgiveness…

I. Revealed.

And we defined them as follows:

A. Compassion – awareness of the need and the desire to relieve it.

Compassion doesn’t stop with the awareness, it goes into action to help the person or situation.

We looked at the parable of the Good Samaritan as an example of compassion. The Samaritan saw the need and acted.

We also mentioned that compassion does not mean “agreement.” Being compassionate does not mean agreeing with everyone’s point of view, or being politically correct.

Next, we looked at…

B. Mercy – not getting what you deserve.

We spent a good deal of our time together last week looking at the parable of the unmerciful servant.

The king showed mercy to the servant owing him millions of dollars, yet the servant showed no mercy to a fellow servant who owed him a few dollars.

The first servant deserved to be punished and his family sold, but the king had mercy. He did not impose the sentence he deserved.

And we illustrated how God shows mercy by looking at Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.

God showed us mercy in providing a way out of the punishment our sins deserve.

Thirdly, we looked at…

C. Forgiveness – pardon; your record is cleared.

Forgiveness can only be offered by someone who has something to forgive.

I can’t forgive you if you have not done anything against me needing forgiveness.

God offers forgiveness in Christ. You see, we need God’s forgiveness because all of us have sinned against Him.

Forgiveness is the way God clears the slate in our relations with Him.

He offers a pardon for all our sin so we can be in right relation with Him.

Lastly, we talked about…

D. The Link – God’s compassion drove Him to mercy, that led Him to forgiveness.

We have seen out terms defined, or revealed, but now I want to turn our attention to the…

II. Results.

What are the results of God’s showering of compassion, mercy, and forgiveness?

The first is…

A. Salvation.

Remember Rom. 6:23? For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Lord didn’t just stop at seeing our need for a Savior. He acted on our need. That’s compassion.

He had the power and the resources to meet the need. God can show mercy because He has the power and resources to do it.

We mentioned last week that when a person is on trial, he hopes for mercy from the court. The spectators can’t help. Only the judge and the jury.

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