Friday, January 16, 2009

Micah's response

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I had a death in the family so I had to scramble and make travel arrangements all morning to South Carolina for us. I wanted to step away from the book of Luke briefly today in order to respond to Micah’s comment on the last entry. Micah commented that part of the beauty in God’s plan is that we aren’t deserving of God’s mercy, yet it is still freely offered. I think that’s a bit of a catch-22 and along the lines of the question, “Can Jesus microwave Himself a burrito so hot he Himself cannot eat it?”

On the one hand, we must be worthy on some level if it is offered. There was something that God saw in humanity eons ago that said we were at least worthy of the chance at being saved. Yes, we inherently screw things up and fall short of the grace of God just because we are human, yet we still have that chance. It is a choice we make of our own free will to see our fallen we are and search for that forgiveness.

That gets to the other side of the coin. We aren’t worthy, but God still makes His mercy available to us. Here is the dictionary definition of mercy:

Mercy - compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner.

We are people in God’s power. There is absolutely nothing we can do to escape it. Despite this, he does show us mercy. My view of God is not Jonathan Edwards’ Puritan view of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God where we are merely toys that God plays with. We have a choice through our own free will to accept this mercy God gives us despite what we have done. We don’t deserve it, but we are worthy simply because the gift is offered.

And it is offered freely. Mother Theresa was one of the most gentile people that ever lived. She was still a sinner and needed to accept God’s forgiveness. On the other side. Jeffrey Dahmer brutally murdered at least 17 people, yet before he was killed in a prison fight he had reportedly become a born again Christian. If that is proof that there is nothing beyond God to forgive I don’t know what is. That is one of the biggest examples of mercy in the case that it wasn’t deserved, but it was still offered. On some level God still found that man worthy and gave him the choice of His mercy.

1 comment:

Micah Vincent said...


Really sorry to hear about the death in the family. Hopefully all is ok, but those are certainly never easy things to go through.

I think the gift is offered because He is worthy, not because we are. I do agree that it is a full act of mercy... whereby God pulled the sinner out of his life (sometimes kicking and screaming) and chose him/her for relationship with him.

As all things are created thru and *for* the Son (Colossians 1 something) including the Cross, I think salvation is a picture of who God is a lot more than it is a picture of who we are(justice and mercy). I think that is the emphasis.

By the way, I think it is great how you are going thru books of the Bible and writing on them. I need to do a better job of working thru what I'm reading/learning. A pastor that I frequently podcast that I think you would enjoy has been going thru Luke for a couple of years. His name is Matt Chandler. You might enjoy checking him out on ITunes.