God's Free Mercy Toward Sinners Like Us

by Thomas Watson

Every link in the golden chain of salvation, is wrought and interwoven with free grace!

God's love is free. "I will love them freely." Hosea 14:4

Election is free. "He has chosen us in Him according to the good pleasure of His will." Ephesians 1:5

Justification is free. "Being justified freely by His grace." Romans 3:24

God's saving MERCY is free and spontaneous. To set up merit—is to destroy mercy. We do not deserve mercy, because of our enmity. We may force God to punish us—but not to love us! If God would show mercy only to such as deserve it—He would show mercy to none!

Mercy is an innate propensity in God to do good to distressed sinners. Mercy proceeds primarily, and originally from God. He is called the "Father of mercies." 2 Corinthians 1:3

God's saving mercy is powerful. How powerful is that mercy—which softens a heart of stone! Mercy changed Mary Magdalene's heart, out of whom seven devils were cast. She who was an inflexible adamant—was made a weeping penitent!

God's mercy works sweetly—yet irresistibly. It allures —yet conquers! The law may terrify—but mercy mollifies. Of what sovereign power and efficacy is that mercy, which subdues the pride and enmity of the heart, and beats off those chains of sin, in which the soul is held!

God's mercy is superabundant. The Lord has treasures of mercy in store, and therefore is said to be "plenteous in mercy" (Psalm 86:5), and "rich in mercy" (Eph 2:4). The vial of God's wrath, only drops—but the fountain of His mercy, runs. The sun is not so full of light—as God is of mercy. His mercy is over-flowing and ever-flowing. His mercy is infinite—without bounds, and without end. "His mercy endures forever." Psalm 136. Every time we draw our breath—we suck in mercy!

We are all living monuments of God's mercy! He shows mercy to us in daily supplying us. He supplies us with health. Health is the sauce which makes life sweeter. How those who are chained to a sick-bed, would prize this mercy! God supplies us with provisions. "God who fed me all my life long." Gen 48:15. Mercy spreads our tables, and carves for us every bit of bread we eat! We never drink, but in the golden cup of mercy! God shows mercy in restraining us from sin. Lusts within— are worse than lions without! The greatest sign of God's anger, is to give men up to their sins. "So I gave them up to their own hearts' lust." Psalm 81:12. While the ungodly sin themselves to hell, God has laid the bridle of restraining grace upon us! As God said to Abimelech, "I withheld you from sinning against Me." Gen 20:6. Just so, God has withheld us from those sins which might have made us a prey to Satan, and a terror to ourselves!

God shows mercy in guiding and directing us. He guides our affairs for us; and chalks out the way He would have us to walk. "You shall guide me with Your counsel." Psalm 73:24. God leads us with the oracles of His Word, and the guidance of His Spirit. He guides our heads to keep us from error; and He guides our feet to keep us from scandal. Oh, what mercy it is—to have God to be our guide and pilot!

God shows mercy in correcting us. He is angry—in love. He smites—that He may save. His rod is not a rod of iron to break us—but a fatherly rod to humble us. "God disciplines us for our good—that we may share in His holiness." Hebrews 12:10. In our afflictions—God will mortify some corruption, or exercise some grace. God shows mercy in saving us. "According to His mercy, He saved us." Titus 3:5. This is the top-stone of mercy! Here mercy displays itself in all its orient colors. Mercy is mercy indeed, when God perfectly refines us from all the lees and dregs of corruption; when our bodies are made like Christ's glorious body, and our souls like the angels. Saving mercy is crowning mercy. It is not merely to be freed from hell—but enthroned in a kingdom! What rich mercy will it be—to fully possess God, to see His smiling face, and to lay in His bosom forever! This will fill us with "a glorious, inexpressible joy!" 1 Peter 1:8. God's saving mercy, is the diamond in the ring!

Mercy more overflows in God—than sin in us. His mercy can drown great sins—as the sea covers great rocks! Christ's blood is "a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and defilement." Zech 13:1. Some of the Jews who had their hands imbrued in Christ's blood—were saved by that blood! God loves to magnify His mercy, and display the trophies of free grace!

How may I know that my sins are pardoned? Whenever God removes the guilt of sin—He breaks the power of sin. "He will have compassion; He will subdue our iniquities." Mic 7:19. With pardoning love—God gives subduing grace.

If we would have saving mercy, it must be through Christ. Outside of Christ, there is no saving mercy. We read in the old law, that none might come into the holy of holies, where the mercy-seat stood—but the high-priest. This signifies that we have nothing to do with mercy—but through Christ our High-priest. That the high-priest might not come near the mercy-seat without blood, is to show that we have no right to mercy—but through the expiatory sacrifice of Christ's blood, Lev 16:14. If we would have mercy, we must be in Christ. Mercy swims to us through Christ's blood!

From The Ten Commandments by Thomas Watson


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