Summary: How we can experience the fullness of forgiveness and grace by sharing the gift of mercy.

The Gift of Mercy: How we can experience the fullness of forgiveness and grace through the gift of mercy.

Romans 12:1-8 We can experience the fullness of God’s forgiveness and grace when we exercise the gift of mercy towards each other.

I. “Gifts of the Father:” Administrative or Motivational Gifts: How many need some motivation?

1. “Offer your Body as living Sacrifices”

Mercy is more than words – but acts of kindness:

God will not bring sinners to a church that will not take care of them.

2. Not like the world: Not competitive, no ranking, everyone has value.

3. With “Cheerfulness” Greek [hilaros] (II Cor. 9:7) cheerful, hilarious.

Mercy and Grace and Forgiveness are not the same thing, however, creating opportunities for mercy leads to opportunities for grace and forgiveness.

II. How can we share the gift of mercy? We share the gift of mercy when we create opportunities for confession: James 5:16

1. Tell somebody! “Is anyone suffering? …Let him call...” We have to be willing to admit our failures.

2. Through Prayer: Prayer not only heals, but forgives. “he will be forgiven” Psalm 103:3 - 5.

3. There is safety in confession - find a Safe Place to Confess our faults before we are ashamed.

4. Confession brings Healing: of the body, mind, and soul…God does not only want to heal us spiritually – but mentally and physically.

5. Eliminate fear of confession: "If you really know me…" Eventually we will.

III. Mercy is Vertical and Horizontal: Matthew 18:15-20 Binding and loosing has more to do with sin and forgiveness than fighting the devil.

1. We blame some things on the devil that we are responsible for. The devil is the source of sin, but not the solution.

2. Perhaps one reason we do not experience the fullness of God’s grace is the lack of confession and forgiveness expressed between each other.

3. The extent that we experience forgiveness has a lot to do with how we relate to each other: Mt 5:24 Col. 3:13 Eph 4:32

4. When we recognize that we have forgiveness, we can share that with everyone else. When we are wrapped up in guilt, mercy cannot flow through us to others.

5. Tyndale Bible Dictionary: God regards mercy more than the ritual sacrifice (Mt 9:13). God’s mercy in Christ actually puts people under obligation to act toward others as God himself has acted toward them.

IV. Leaders lead the Way: We can create great opportunities for mercy, confession, repentance, and forgiveness when mature believers set a good example: Those of us who are more mature spiritually must be the most willing to confess our sins – or no one else will.

Psalm 51:10-14 When I understand the fullness of God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness, I will be compelled to show others.

Receive full forgiveness: To hold on to sin is to minimize the Cross.

Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Acts 13:3

V. The Goal of Mercy: Restoration Gal 6:1

• Sharing Pain: Mercy walks through suffering together without regard for the cause of suffering.

• We can experience the fullness of God’s forgiveness and grace when we show mercy and forgiveness to each other.

• How can we apply this tonight? Do you have something you need to confess? This is a safe place to start…you will encourage some

Application: Create opportunities for mercy, grace, and forgiveness:

1. Be sensitive to the Spirit and to others

2. Be willing to confess your own failures

3. Be a good listener

4. Be willing to share pain, suffering, struggle without trying to fix the problem.

5. Express forgiveness in response to true repentance

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