Elected Officials

The Magnitude of Mercy


Quinton Cools November 16, 2018
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This post was written by TeenPact Student Body Senator Joel Myers of Nebraska.


 

This is not the story I wanted to tell.

 

When I began to write this post, I thought I knew exactly what I was supposed to share. I thought I had a message that was not only worth spreading but exactly what I was supposed to write. And so, when I sat down at my keyboard with my notes in front of me to begin typing it out, I thought I knew what was about to come out.

 

At that moment, I was convicted. I was taking my thoughts and ideas and shoehorning them into God’s words. Indeed, I personally had no right or authority to spread any message at all, and yet here I was building a narrative around my own ability to deliver a convicting missive.

 

The most dangerous lies are the ones that contain lots of truth. Certainly, Jesus died on the cross to save us. God gave up His only Son to make us sons and daughters. His resurrection gave us life and redemption. He has given us the Spirit to be with us until we share in His resurrection. However, Jesus’ sacrifice did not minimize our sin. Instead, He, in His love and mercy, bridged a gap the size of our sin. And it is due to this, and not our human ability, that we are justified and given authority.

 

I know I am not alone in doing this. We conflate and blend the freedom we have in Christ and the power we have in the Holy Spirit with our own human competence, influence, and control. What we need is to see the magnitude of our sin—that our sin was so great that death and hell were given as the just reward for our wrong. It is then, and only then, that we may see the magnitude of something greater. God has saved us, made us new, and welcomes us to be a part of the work He is doing.

 

Consider what Paul writes to the young Corinthian church:

 

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” – 1 Corinthians 5:17-18

 

God has saved us, and it is through Him that we find our qualification. He wants us to be a part of His ministry of reconciliation as He returns the world to Eden. So rather than minimizing our sin and justifying ourselves, we stand in awe of the magnitude of God’s perfect mercy.

 

Our sin is bigger than a bad habit. It is greater than what’s on the surface. It is a deeply rooted wickedness dating back to the first humans. Nothing we could ever do would prove to be enough to vindicate ourselves in the eyes of God. This is the story of human nature—our nature, but the story doesn’t end there. Paul describes the glorious reversal of this story:

 

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 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, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” – Titus 3:4-7

 

Though we are nothing apart from Him and our good works are never enough, He has still chosen to justify us in His sight. Why? So that by His mercy and grace we may become heirs—partnering with God in the ministry of reconciliation, leading us to eternal life.

 

We have nothing—nothing at allwithout the mercy and grace of God. We marvel at the magnitude of God’s mercy, saving us from the eternity we had earned, yet also at the gift of His grace, having undeservedly received the eternity that Jesus earned for us. The gates of Heaven swing wide, as God continues the theme of Joseph: What was intended for evil, He has used for good. Through His sacrifice, He has saved us and given us eternal life with Him. Through our inequity, He will be glorified.

 

This work is finished. We cannot complete what God has already done. And yet, He has asked us to be a part of His work on this Earth; the changing of hearts and minds and redemption of the nations. So we continue to seek Him, knowing that we have already been found and saved, that we may grasp His wonder, and abide deeper in Him.

 

 

Senator Joel Myers

 

 

About the Author

Quinton Cools

Quinton Cools grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and like any true Oregonian, he can identify the perfect cup of coffee. He is the fifth of nine… Read More

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