Today’s reminder is from Justin Perdue, Pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in Asheville, NC.
To love the mercy of God, or to love it more – to love the character of God, or love him more – to see myself as a debtor to grace, or to see that more so requires a change at the heart level. How is that going to happen? Are we, through our own efforts going to change our own hearts? I don’t think so. So seriously, how will this happen? Heart change.
Let me offer a suggestion. Perhaps if we want to not despise the mercy of God but love it, we should look at the mercy of God alongside the justice of God. Ponder it – the mercy of God. Go deeper into the mercy of God. Pray for it. Sing about it. Come to the table and feed on it.
It is the mercy of God in Christ, the gospel that changes hearts. The law, as good as it is, can’t do that. It can’t change the heart. The law can condemn, but it can’t give life. The law can guide, but it can’t change. Being told what to do or not to do won’t change you. Beholding Christ, contemplating mercy alongside justice – that’s where heart change occurs.
As we behold him, we are transformed from one degree of glory to another, right? So along these lines, think with me for a moment: the justice and mercy of God. Think. We did this a few months ago in a way; we’re going to do this again. We’re going to consider the judgment seat of God.
I think that John Calvin and others are right when they say that the entire discussion of justification begins by considering the judgment seat of God. The entire discussion of justification, the basis of that whole thing, is this: the justice that we are talking about is not the justice of a human court but a heavenly one.
Starting there informs us as to the kind of works and the kind of life that would satisfy the divine judgment. We would never talk of the righteousness of our works if we were affected with the slightest feeling and the slightest understanding of God’s justice. We wouldn’t. So may God affect us with even the slightest feeling and the slightest understanding of his justice today.
Everyday Grace 029