Summary: So often we respond in Judgement but God’s mercy triumphs over judgement
James 2 calls us not to favour one person over another.
If you try to climb across a ravine whether you get 5% of the way across or 95% of the way across when you fall you still fall to the bottom of the Ravine.
None of us can cross the ravine to reach God without Christ. James says Mercy triumphs over judgement. Lit Boasts against – We deserve judgement but Mercy boasts that it is greater!
Mercy boasts that God’s mercy is more powerful than judgement. Anyone can condemn or judge, no one has the right to mercy! Yet Mercy triumphs over judgement! There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. There is nothing you can do to make God love you less!
WRATH OF GOD (O/hd)
God’s wrath is His righteous judgement of sin and its effects on His creation.
God’s wrath does not describe an angry God seeking whom he can punish. He is not a Policeman seeing who he can arrest or a traffic warden seeing who he can catch. Wrath is not personal. It is like jumping off a 500 ft building or standing in front of an express train - cause and effect. Wrath loves the Sinner and hates the sin. No one has the right to mercy!
God’s wrath is an innate revulsion and opposition to sin. Sin poisons, corrupts and brings decay, destruction, abuse, terror, fear, war, suffering, pain and death into God’s beautiful world.
God is Holy (1Peter 1:16) God is Love (1John 4:16). In God these attributes are in absolute and perfect balance. Because of man’s sin these two are out of balance and we tend to move towards one or the other. Justice or Mercy.
God’s holiness demands that man’s sinfulness be dealt with and that wrath be fulfilled (cause and affect – sin brings death). But God’s grace restrained immediate wrath – held back the affect – (1Tim.2:4)
MERCY SEAT (Overhead)
In Exodus 25:17-22 it describes the mercy seat. The mercy seat was over the law – justice and judgement. When the Mercy seat was sprinkled with blood it turned the throne of God from one of Judgement to one of mercy. So mercy was offered at the “price of a life” No one has the right to mercy! But Mercy triumphs over Judgement. It is “blood” that makes the mercy seat work!
In the old Testament it was sprinkled once a year by the high priest. In the New Testament Jesus blood was shed once FOREVER! to destroy sin and it’s power in our lives. By faith we are to apply the shed blood of Jesus to every area of our lives – salvation, health, financial, spiritual, mental etc
Life is in the blood Lev.17:11 the blood speaks Gen.4:10; Heb.12:24; James 2:13. Abel’s blood spoke of Justice and judgement. Christ’s blood speaks of mercy. There are two voices one of Justice and judgement and one of mercy.
Which voice are you using? Which voice is speaking to you?
Exodus 12 – Passover
(O/hd) In Old Testament times once a year the High priest would enter the holy of holies, on the Day of Atonement and sprinkle the blood of an unblemished lamb onto the mercy seat for the sins of God’s people. (Lev.16) (Heb.9:14; 1Peter 1:19) Above the entire Ark dwelled the Shekinah Glory cloud of God. It is only the blood of Jesus that satisfies God’s wrath and overcomes Satan.
Man broke God’s holy law and deserved death. Not until the death penalty had been executed upon sin could the law be satisfied and God’s holiness and His righteousness be upheld. (2Cor.5:21)
Sin’s power had to be broken before man could cross the ravine and be reconciled to God (Heb.9:26; John 1:29; Rev.5:12). The only way this could happen was through the shed blood of a totally innocent man - Jesus. In His shed blood there is forgiveness, deliverance from the power of sin and healing. (1Jn.2:2)
The Cross become an eternal atonement because of the shed blood of Jesus As a result the body and blood of Jesus are the most holy and powerful things in the universe. They were offered to God in Heaven as the supreme sacrifice for sin and to break Satan’s hold forever over mankind. At the Cross, because of the blood, Mercy triumphs over Judgement.
Those of you here this morning who deserve judgement come to his throne of Grace and receive mercy. No one has a right to mercy but Jesus blood has been shed so that mercy triumphs over judgement.
The enemy and even our conscience condemns us but Jesus shed bled boasts in God’s mercy and Mercy triumphs over judgement. Let us celebrate the mercy we have received through the Lord’s Supper END