SERMON ON THE MOUNT #7

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL

(Matthew 5:7)

INTRODUCTION

A. Today we going to look at another of the Beatitudes

1. Our examination of the beatitudes has focused on their relationship to faith

2. They tell us what it takes for faith…

a. To begin… poor in spirit – mourn – meek

b. To grow… hunger and thirst after righteousness

3. These are all indispensable qualities to the man or woman of faith

B. Faith that grows must, at some point, come to maturity

1. It is at that point, the person of faith begins to reflect the image of God in his or her own life

2. A mature faith, does not only provide for the spiritual health of the one who is faithful, but it radiates outward

C. Matthew 5:7

1. This is a quality that cannot be kept inside for oneself

2. To possess this quality, we must give it away to others

3. The immature in faith cannot express this quality, for they, like an immature baby, are focused on themselves

D. Our task today is to discover something about the role of mercy in being faithful to the Lord

DISCUSSION

A. MERCY DEFINED

1. Some have trouble separating mercy from grace

a. They are often found together, such as in the greeting of Paul’s letters

b. Grace carries the idea of undeserved and unmerited favor

1) Grace is God’s provision when a person does not deserve it

2) Grace is God’s blessing to those who cannot earn it

3) Grace is giving something positive when there is no reason to expect it

c. Mercy, however, carries a somewhat different idea

1) It does result in the positive blessing of God

2) However, it is the negative view of God’s actions toward us

3) Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve

4) Mercy is God withholding from us what we have earned

d. Illustration When the infidel Robert G. Ingersoll was delivering his lectures against Christ and the Bible, his oratorical ability usually assured him of a large crowd. One night after an inflammatory speech in which he severely attacked man’s faith in the Savior, he dramatically took out his watch and said, “I’ll give God a chance to prove that He exists and is almighty. I challenge Him to strike me dead within 5 minutes!” First there was silence, then people became uneasy. Some left the hall, unable to take the nervous strain of the occasion, and one woman fainted. At the end of the allocated time, the atheist exclaimed derisively, “See! There is no God. I am still very much alive!” After the lecture a young fellow said to a Christian lady, “Well, Ingersoll certainly proved something tonight!” Her reply was memorable. “Yes, he did,” she said. “He demonstrated that even the most defiant sinner cannot exhaust the patience of the Lord in just 5 minutes!” Another man added, “As I was coming downtown today, a belligerent little fellow came running out of an alley, daring me to hit him. Do you suppose I actually struck him, just because he challenged me to do so? In the same way, our Lord will not strike everyone dead who defies Him. We should be thankful that in this age He is still operating in grace and desires to show His love rather than His wrath.”

2. Mercy is the necessary balance to righteousness

a. God is righteous, but if He were only righteousness, He would be hard, demanding, and impossible for man to approach

b. People who are nothing but “righteous” are hard, cold, and so judgmental that there is no room for anything except perfection

c. Mercy softens righteousness with compassion and understanding

d. But righteousness is based in truth, and mercy never contradicts the truth – it relieves the demands of justice

e. Mercy is the “thou shalt not,” tempered by the voice of Calvary saying “Father, forgive them.”

B. A BRIEF SUMMARY OF BIBLICAL TEACHING ON MERCY

1. Mercy is part of the character and nature of God

a. Deuteronomy 7:9

b. 1 Chronicles 16:34

c. Joel 2:13

2. Mercy enables God to be sensitive to man’s distress

a. Psalm 4:1

b. Psalm 6:2

c. Psalm 9:13

3. Mercy deters punishment for sin

a. Psalm 25:7

b. Psalm 41:4

c. Psalm 51:1

d. Luke 18:13

e. Titus 3:4-6

4. Mercy is the answer to man’s hopelessness

a. Psalm 56:1

b. Psalm 86:3

c. Hebrews 4:16

C. EXAMPLES OF MERCY

1. Genesis 19:16

2. Genesis 39:21

3. Matthew 9:27

4. Matthew 15:22

5. Matthew 17:15

6. Luke 10:36-37

D. THE POINT: JESUS WANTS US TO PRACTICE MERCY

1. Mercy may affect all or some of the following

a. The level of compassion and pity you feel for others

b. Your ability to respond to the needs or cries for help of others

c. The harshness with which you judge the actions and motives of others

d. Your ability to show acts of kindness, gentleness to others

e. Your ability to not seek revenge for the sins of others

f. Your ability to stand for the truth and promote righteousness without destroying people in the process

2. Mercy truly demands a level of faith that not everyone is able to practice

CONCLUSION

A. Has God been merciful to you?

1. Do you realize the great sacrifice given for you?

2. Do you realize the awful wrath of God that you have avoided because of his mercy?

3. Can’t you see that without mercy, there would be no way for us to stand before God?

B. Remember the story of the unforgiving servant in Mt 18?

1. His master was merciful in forgiving the debt he owed

2. The servant, however, was unwilling to grant the same mercy to one who owed him a much smaller amount

3. Because he was not merciful, the servant finally suffered a worse fate than he had created for the one who owed him

4. Matthew 18:33

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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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