What does it mean to be a New Covenant believer? In other words, what distinguishes us today from the people of Israel who lived under the Mosaic or Old Covenant? One of the most glaring differences is recorded for us in Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.”
This invitation was never extended under the Mosaic Covenant. The throne room was off-limits. Access denied, until…
Jesus shed his blood to take away sin once and for all. He swung the door wide open. And you now can walk boldly into God’s presence.
When you do, you receive mercy and find grace in your time of need. Will you stop and absorb the impact of that statement?
Think of a time when your struggle with sin, or the ways of the world, was most intense in your life; when the desires of your flesh overwhelmed you. Perhaps at that time you felt that God was a million miles away. Fear, shame and guilt were so active in your mind that drawing near to God was not an option.
Yet the Spirit urged you to go to the throne. What did you find? Grace. What did you receive? Mercy. Unexpected. Undeserved.
But that is Jesus. He gives mercy because that is what we need. His grace abounds because that is who he is. Most people expect judgment, condemnation and punishment in times of trouble. These are the rewards of the law. But the New Covenant does not invite us to the law. It invites us to Jesus, the One who set us free from the law of sin and death.
Through your gifts to Basic Gospel, you are helping people the world over find mercy and grace in their time of need. Like my friend, Dave, who recently shared this e-mail with us.
You have made it very easy to understand God’s Grace and Love for us believers. When I finally realized that God wants us to “enjoy” Him, I was filled with awe and joy beyond anything I have ever experienced!!!!! Thank you for helping this old man enter the rest of the Lord. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much of my 69 years of life struggling to please God and have Him accept and love me the way He does.
But what exactly is mercy? At one time I thought that it was merely God withholding from us what we deserved. That sounds good and right, but it misses the mark. God never withholds punishment. Your sins and my sins were punished at the cross. Jesus died in our place for our sins. Judgment, condemnation and wrath were carried out in full.
But we were still in a pitiful condition reeling from the consequence of sin. We needed someone to relieve us of our suffering. That’s what God does through the good news.
The New Testament word means “active pity.” It’s an act of kindness. One commentary put it this way; mercy is the application of grace. I like this definition and it is born out in the New Testament.
…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit… Titus 3:5 (ESV)
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction… 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)
How does God relieve us of our suffering and from the consequences of sin? He saves us. He causes us to be born again to a living hope. He comforts us in our affliction. That’s mercy. It’s what people receive when they go boldly to the throne of grace.
As you know, the world we live in is filled with people who are afflicted, suffering and in pain. They need the mercy of God.
Thank you for helping them find their way to the throne of grace through your ministry of giving to Basic Gospel. It is a genuine act of kindness that you are performing to alleviate the spiritual pain and suffering in the world.
Let’s continue to get the word out together that God is a merciful God. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Drawing near,
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