Summary: To purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to reflect upon Sept 11 2001, and to affirm to others that just as Christ had mercy on Paul - if we repent of our wrong doings – Christ will also have MERCY on us.

14 September 2008

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris

West Fort Hood Chapel

Killeen TX

BIG IDEA: Christ will HAVE MERCY on us if we repent of our wrong doings.

REFERENCES: Acts 9 (Paul’s Conversion Experience); Ephesians 2:3-5 (NIV) All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved; Psalm 14:1, 3-7 (NIV) The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Will evildoers never learn— those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the LORD ? There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!; I Timothy 1:12-17 (NIV); Ex 33:19 (NIV) I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion; I Timothy 1:13 (NIV) Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief; Mercy: defined as “not” getting what you do deserve – withheld punishment; Grace: defined as the “inverse” of mercy – getting what you don’t deserve or “unmerited favor”; Matthew 18:23-35 (NIV) The Unjust Servant;

I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: 1 Timothy 1:12-17(NIV)

II. READ THE PERICOPE: 1 Timothy 1:12-17 (NIV)

III. READ THE TEXT: 1 Timothy 1:13 (NIV) Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.

IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to reflect upon Sept 11 2001, and to affirm to others that just as Christ had mercy on Paul - if we repent of our wrong doings – Christ will also have MERCY on us.

V. SERMONIC THEME: “MERCY”: Punishment Withheld


Mercy: Punishment Withheld.

This past week (on Thursday, 11 Sep) many Americans – all over the world – were challenged to “remember and Not to Ever Forget” Tuesday, September 11, 2001 – 7 years ago.

The day when planes were flown into the twin towers at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The day when 40 brave people (passengers and crew members alike of Flight 93) lost their lives in an attempt to prevent terrorist from attacking our Nation’s Capitol.

Likewise, in commemoration of September 11, 2001, our HHC 504th Commander - CPT Thrash) put together – without fan fair - a Motorcycle Ride out to the Veterans Memorial Cemetery on I-95 where we conducted a “Service of Remembrance”. Soldiers were asked to recall where they were, and what they were doing when they first heard of the planes flying into the Twin Towers. What an awesome tribute we had! Therefore, in honor of the many that have died on 9-11 – and the many soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines that have subsequently lost their lives in Iraq, or Afghanistan, as a result of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 – let us have a “Moment of Silence”. Thank you!

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 1: Mercy: Punishment Withheld.

a. Who can ever forget the Prayer that the Lord taught His Disciples to PRAY in Matthew 6?

b. Clearly, the scriptures indicate that it wasn’t the Lord’s Prayer; but it was the prayer that the Lord taught his Disciples to Pray.

c. In Matthew 6:12, we are taught to ask God to forgive US as WE forgive those who have sinned against us.

d. For the scriptures says … forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

e. In other words, Father forgives us of all of our sins; as we forgive those whom have sinned against us!

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 2: If we don’t forgive those who have WRONGED us then don’t forgive us.

a. “… forgive us our debts, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS.

b. In the Book of Matthews, we find the STORY of The Unmerciful Servant or the Servant Who Was Reluctant to withhold punishment in Matthews 18:23-35?

c. For don’t you remember?

d. The scriptures tell us of a man who was deeply indebted to the king.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 3: In fact, he owed the king ten thousand talents.

a. But since he was not able to pay, the king ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had to be sold to repay the debt.

b. The Bible tells us that the servant fell on his knees before the king.

c. The servant begged the king to be patient with him, and he would repay everything.

d. The Bible tells us that the king “withheld his punishment” and HAD MERCY on him and cancelled the bill and freed him (Matthew 18:23-27).

e. Later, while the servant was out, he found someone who owed him a few dollars. And he grabbed him and began to choke him.

f. Screaming: Pay back what you owe me!

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 4: His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.”

a. But he refused.

b. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

c. Now, when the other servants saw what happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their king everything that had happened (Matthew 18:28-31).

d. Afterwards, the king called the servant in and said:

e. you wicked servant … I cancelled all of your debt because you begged me to do so.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 5: Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?

a. Consequently, in anger, the king turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

b. Then Jesus said:

c. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from the heart."

d. MERCY: Punishment Withheld.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 6: It has been said that GRACE is defined as one RECEIVING what ONE DO NOT Deserve.

a. In other words, GRACE is a BLESSING …

b. …or unmerited favor that one hasn’t earned.

c. While the “inverse” of GRACE is MERCY.

d. MERCY is the defined as ONE not getting what one DO DESERVE.

e. In other words, although punishment is DESERVED – clemency is rendered; and punishment is withheld.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******

MOVE 7: Likewise, In our text today, we find the Story of Paul’s Punishment being withheld.

a. The scripture clearly paints a picture of Paul life prior to his Christian conversion.

b. Prior to his conversion, his name was Saul.

c. And like many of the terrorist – of September 11, 2001 - WE FIGHT today; Saul was a RELIGIOUS TERRORIST.

d. He uttered many murderous threats to kill Christians in the First Century.

e. No doubt, just as the Islamic Extremist that flew those planes into the World Trade Center thought they were doing a work for God;

f. Paul (prior to his conversion) thought that he too was following God.

g. His seal for God could not be matched.

h. After he repented to God, God HAD MERCY on him – and God’s punishment was withheld.

i. God didn’t give Paul what he deserved. As a result, Paul ultimately became one of the greatest missionary and church planter that has ever lived.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS ******


Likewise, my brothers and sisters, regardless of what we’ve done and the terrible sin that we have committed;

God stands at the altar today, ready to forgive us; and WITHHOLD THE PUNISHMENT AND THE WAGES OF SIN FROM OUR LIVES …

if we would only confess our ignorance of His Word, REPENT of our SINS, and accept The Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.

For don’t you remember, it was Paul that said - in 1 Timothy 3:13 (NIV) -

Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.