Monday, March 10, 2014

God’s Goodness, Mercy and Grace

This article will not deal with the individual moral attributes of God as our heading suggests; we will condense it and present it as a whole in praise of God’s infinite munificence (great and lavish generosity). Theologically, there are some words that have been specifically coined to try and explain the attributes of God, but even these words are inadequate in fully ‘defining’ who God really is.

When our Lord Jesus was questioned by a young man about moral goodness, the Lord replied by referring Him to a Person God and not to a concept. Philosophers have difficulty to define the abstract, but the Bible talks about the concrete. So then, the way to understand goodness is through the Person who is Good, Merciful and Gracious, and whose works declare Him so (Matthew 19:17). God’s character reveals His Goodness. His character combines perfectly His love, mercy, truth, patience, faithfulness, justice, holiness and wrath in perfect balance.

“For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:5 NASB).We know that all people are sinners and we have no goodness of our own (Mark 10:18; Romans 3:23). God established His Goodness in all of creation by ordaining seasons and fixed laws in nature and the Heavens (Jeremiah 33:25; Genesis 8:22). He called it a ‘covenant’ using His Perfect Goodness, Faithfulness, Justice and Righteousness as a guarantee that those laws cannot be broken while the earth endures (Genesis 8:22). We do know that God has set a day aside to renew a new covenant with all of creation in the promised new dispensation (Romans 8:20-21; Isaiah 11:6-10). In addition, what I am trying to get to is God’s Goodness, Mercy and Grace are fully present in all His established covenants, whether with man or creation. He renews it every morning to guarantee His subjects of His unfailing commitment to their well-being (Lamentations 3:23).

Furthermore, we can therefore trust that His Goodness, Mercy and Grace will be ever present for us while the earth endures. This was the consolation, hope and comfort of Abraham (Genesis 18:22-33), David (Psalm 51 and 23), Jeremiah (Lamentations 3:21-26), Jonah (Jonah 4:2) and Job (Job 42:1-4) to mention but a few. Therefore in identifying truth, these men after having sensed sin in their lives and their own shortcomings took hold of God’s tender mercies as a way to escape the turbulence of guilt experienced by our souls. Guilt is like a consuming fire within each one of us and securing truth through God’s purity is both comforting and liberating. This Goodness of God which embodies His forgiveness that we ‘escape’ to by faith gives us the hope of renewal or reconciliation to right standing with Him. Having said this, we are not ‘switching’ off or denying our weaknesses but in acknowledgement of our imperfections we consciously  embrace God’s grace which is freely and undeservingly available (Luke 15:11-32).

Christ Jesus, Our Gift of God’s Absolute Goodness

In every section of human society, sin is practiced as a way of life. The apostle Paul saw the complete hopelessness of man finding mercy without God’s intervention through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-5; Romans 5:20-21). This grace was bestowed upon all mankind everywhere while the earth endures.  Undoubtedly, humanity is always hunted by guilt so we turn to truth to verify if our actions were correct. We engage the opinions of others, we listen to our conscience and we also try to ascertain through our moral guides – religion. However, the estimate of answers we will receive through these guides determines our state of mind, whether good or bad. This might be to appease our conscience the greatest emotional and moral need we want to satisfy is the truth. Did we satisfy truth in our action (s)? Also, guilt is fear for punishment (1 John 4:18) and by looking to truth we hope for reward (Romans 2:7). In summary, Christ is that TRUTH (John 14:6). The goodness, mercy and grace of God flows through Him (Colossians 1:15-23). God says every GOOD we ever have or will desire is found embodied and present in Christ Jesus. This portion of
Scripture best describes the future and hope of creation. Christ, is therefore the sum total of Creation’s gift from God. He personifies the absolute BENEVOLENCE and EXCELLENCE of the Divine Good. Through Him Heavens treasures are attained and the bounty of divine perfection was declared a gift to all creation (Matthew 11:27).

Remember your religion, philosophy, education or culture denies you the treasures purely kept away for the believing (Matthew 6:20). Conversely, if it is NOT in or through Christ, hope is useless! (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Remember our rich fellows, you might say God has blessed you with abundance and you compare yourself to Abraham; he did not use his riches on himself but having had lots of servants he shared his abundance with them (Genesis 14:14).  You have more than what you need (Matthew 19:21).

The abundance of God’s Goodness, Mercy and Grace has been poured out fully through Christ Jesus; don’t you want to be a part of it? Don’t rely on your religion as your moral compass and judge; Christ will be your Judge and the Eternal God of Israel as the Almighty ordered it (Romans 2:16; Acts 17:31).

Finally, to understand the Benevolence of God, we must look at our helpless condition of sin and in the light thereof will we fully appreciate and comprehend His grace.

In conclusion let me share this summary of God’s Goodness: “But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope - that the grace of ADONAI is not exhausted, that his compassion has not ended.  [On the contrary,] they are new every morning! How great your faithfulness!  "ADONAI is all I have," I say; "therefore I will put my hope in him.  ADONAI is good to those waiting for him, to those who are seeking him out.  It is good to wait patiently for the saving help of ADONAI” (Lamentations 3:21-26 CJB).

If you are not yet born again, here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started in this life of living in God’s Goodness, Mercy and Grace. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Sincere Grace, Peace and Love to all in Jesus name,

Brother Glenn.