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Blessed Are the Merciful

David Shin

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Pastor David Shin continues in the series of messages from the beatitudes. "Blessed are the Merciful."

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David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

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Recorded

  • October 1, 2016
    11:30 AM
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If you have not already I want to invite you to open your Bibles to Matthew chapter 5 we're continuing in our series from the Sermon on the Mount. In the Beatitudes Jesus is giving. What I believe to be the greatest sermon ever preached in the history of Christendom any begins with a series of blasts and the focus of our presentation today is verse 7 from the Beatitudes blessid are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. Let's do a brief review scholars believe that the Beatitudes describe a progression in the Christian experience growing in grace from faith to faith from glory to glory and in the progression they have noticed that the 1st beatitude and the last beatitude have the same blessing blessid are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven the last beatitude Blessed are the persecuted for their is the kingdom of heaven indicating and in plying that when you accept Jesus as your savior at the beginning. You have the same promise as someone who has been a Christian for years Amen Praise God you are saved regardless of where you are on the latter you have the assurance of salvation so this is describing a progression in the Christian experienced is describing Christian growth another observation that has been made is that the Beatitudes can be divided into 2 sets of 4 as well you notice that the 1st set of 4 ends with Blessitt are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and then the 2nd set of beatitude its ends with the blessing or the persecuted for righteousness sake it has been observed that you go from emptiness to feeling of righteousness you go from the recognition of your need to on hungering and thirsting for righteousness and the 2nd set of 4 describes how God begins to transform our characters and begins to fill us with his righteousness the 1st attribute that Jesus ascribes in this feeling of his righteousness is blasted are the merciful poor they shall obtain mercy before we continue let's define our terms. John Courson the commentator says after you have gone through the emptying process and you are filled with Gone Slav you will be merciful towards others no longer judge mental and critical. I haven't the source in my library and here are some synonyms for mercy compassion forbearance pardoning tender hearted. Here's the opposite of mercy antonyms for mercy cut throat hard unsparing iron fisted gives you a picture as to what we're talking about here synonyms an end to names for mercy I love this quote from thoughts on the Mount of blessings God is him self the source of all mercy His name is merciful and gracious Exodus Chapter $34.00 Verse 6 he does not treat us according to what we deserve he does not ask if we are worthy of his love but he pours upon us the riches of His love to make us worthy he is not vindictive he seeks not to punish but to redeem praise gone for their hand how many of you have been a recipient of guns mercy all of us I think of how patient God has been with me I would have given up on me if I were God you following me I can't think of the times I have messed up over and over and over again and I go to Jesus and He is always there to give me a 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th not 910th Chance and it seems like his mercies are never ending they are new every morning praise God God never gives up on us his forbearance is always there his mercy is always there in a future presentation I want to talk about the condition of our hearts and how we are not static but dynamic. And we talk sometimes about the close of probation when people are scared about that. But the closer probation tells us more about the condition of our hearts and the transformation that we go through God is always open he's always receiving the issue is that our hearts change in response and reaction to light has God been good to you Gaunt says Be merciful just as your father is merciful I mean what a tall order be merciful just as your father is merciful Now if you'll permit me I want to just go into a little bit of a digression before continuing. I want to look at how high of a regard Jesus holds mercy there are certain things in the Christian experiencing in Christian theology that are central and there are other things that are more peripherial and look at Jesus's comment to the fairest seas and you'll see where Jesus places mercy on the hierarchy if you may of Christian value and virtue so here is Jesus talking in a section succession of woes to the fair season notices language here and if you read desire of ages. We're told that there were tears in his voice as he was uttering these woes woe to you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites for you tie mint and deal and coom in these are these plants that were native to the Middle East the smallest of plants and remember in Hebrew tradition you were to give a tie of your 1st fruits to the Lord and the fairest things were so careful about tithing they wanted to make sure to tithe not only the large harvest but the very small of the mint and the do in the common and have neglected the weight here matters of the law what Jesus meant by weight here he was talking about the things that are central the pillars the things that are at the core of the Christian experience so here the Farriss were so particular about making sure that they tie on the smallest of entities when it came to stewardship but they have neglected the more core elements and here they are justice mercy which we're talking about today mercy is at the core of the Christian experience it is not a smaller matter Jesus says it is the weightier matters of the law justice mercy and faith these you ought to have done without neglecting the others now to be very clear Jesus is not minimizing stewardship here you saying Look you ought to have been faithful. But without neglecting the others you bought blind guy straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel. When you look in the book of Leviticus the largest unclean animal Leviticus Chapter 11 described was the camel All right no camel sandwiches I'm sorry to declare to you it was the camel the smallest possible unclean animal was the gnat the various things were so careful not to consume things especially in their drink they want to strain out the gnat and swallow the proverbial camel what is Jesus talking about here Jesus is talking about a condition in which we can get caught up into today sometimes we get so caught up in the minors that we forget about the mangers for clarification Jesus was not minimizing the little things he says you ought to have done these things and the devil loves to have us get so caught up in the my new SHA if we can just forget about the manger and the core elements of Christianity I love history. And there was a time in administering Perhaps you heard of the general conference session of 888 Minneapolis pivotal moment in admin is history what a lot of people don't know is what set the stage for the explosion following 888 was another theological discussion that took place between 2 camps within the church one was a relatively young Camp 80 JONES And E.J. Wagner and the other was the old guard G.I. Butler and your rawest Smith the writer is the author for Daniel and Revelation. And the. Controversy of discussion was the law in Galatians Have you studied the long before. The long delay sions became this hot bed of controversy because 80 JONES And E.J. Wagner believed that the long delay sions was describing the moral law you're a smith G.I. Butler believe that the long delay sions was the ceremonial law and this controversy literally exploded within the church it became a law again in the sand you were either moral law I think or ceremonial law when it came to the law in Galatians and this controversy became so escalated that Ellen White had to be the adult in the room and referee the situation I want to read Ellen White's comment on this controversy in regards to the long collations I would hear on the screen it's a little bit long but I want to read it in its entirety here it is now brother and I have nothing to say no burden in regard to the law in Galatians now the Fascinating. Nothing to say no burden in regard to the long delay sions this matter looks to me of what does it say on the screen of my nerd consequence in comparison with the spirit you have brought into your faith it is exactly the same of the same piece that was manifested by the Jews in reference to the work in the mission of Jesus Christ. The most convincing testimony that we can bear to others that we have the truth is the spirit which attends the advocacy of the truth if it sanctifies the heart of the receiver if it makes him gentle kind for bearing true and Christ like then he will give some evidence of the fact that he has the genuine truth it's so ironic isn't it that we can get so caught up talking about God's book that we can become ungodly in the way that we talk about it that's ironic and here they were so caught up in the law of Galatians that there were being unchristian in the way that when they were treating each other I contend that the way that we present the truth is just as important as the truth itself. I was in a savage school years ago a visitor. And a certain person stood up and they were so right but they were so wrong. You following me they were so right doctrinally but they were so wrong in the way that they were presenting the truths of scripture arrogance pride disrespect. Anger venom spewing out in smoke I mean just figurative Lee speaking so right and yet so. And the devil doesn't mind if we have theological dialogue you know that as long as we're un-Christian in the way that we treat each other and Jesus says you know what you've got so caught up in the my new shed that you forgot to be a Christian. Jesus said they that worship me will worship me with 2 things we need to keep these things in tension and in balance what are they in spirit and ensuring sometimes we misunderstand what Jesus said we think it in spirit or in truth but Jesus says they that worship me will spear worship me in spirit and in truth we need both and the devil loves to have us get off in one of 2 pitfalls all right I have been in certain camps and if you ever want to have a discussion about Adventist communities I've been through it all. All right the full spectrum if I can use that word all through it and you know I have been uncertain camps when they are high on truth orthodoxy but they have very little of the Spirit baptized in lemon juice. If I can use that term. I believe the Christians should be the happiest people in the world I mean something's wrong you know some of the things that have been said by me by orthodox individuals are just terrible I mean my my enemies in the world don't even treat me like that I mean something's wrong then I've been another camps where very loving very kind. But there's very little truth low regard for truth we need both the 2 go hand in hand and I think that sometimes we've gotten into some Greek thinking when it comes to truth and we need to do a better job on this as a church we have separated truth from Jesus. But notice what Jesus said I mean this is a. Incredible thought it blows the mind of Greek thinkers Jesus said I am the truth. Jesus brings truth and he says that it is in his person it's not propositional it is personal truth and the personhood of Jesus are tied together and in our admin is history I think that sometimes we've gotten so isolated we've taken away the 2nd coming from the person of Jesus or or the doctrines and we need to bring them together Christ centric Christ centered truth matters when it comes to our relationships a man no relationship can be built on lies a friend of mine went to high school together it's interesting when you see all of your paths and where everyone is ending up in she got married to this quote upstanding and. Had the perfect marriage very happy later on her marriage came crashing down around her because her husband was not who she thought he was she thought he was an upstanding businessman in the community he actually worked for the mob he was the head of the mafia and basically their marriage was a front for all the illegal activities that were taking place their whole marriage was built on law yes and friends there are a lot of lies about God and we need to present truth as it is in Jesus because we want to optimize people's relationship not degrade it and a relationship is elevated by truth amen you asked that young lady once she found out that the whole foundation of their relationship was built on a lie that marriage crumbled. There was no transparency there was no honesty they did worship me worship me in spirit and in truth these 2 must go hand in hand together one other observation before moving on by by implication this statement of Jesus here is stating that there are certain truths that are central to the Christian experience and others are peripheral and we need to know and be wise and have the discernment of the Holy Spirit to distinguish between what is a major issue and what is a minor issue Amen we need grace to understand that my ministry director when I 1st came into ministry he said David when you go into a church you're going to notice a lot of things but remember this you can only be a martyr once. You can only be a martyr once before you go to die on that hill you need to ask yourself Is this a hill to die on and in our community of faith I have seen congregations destroyed because individuals have drawn a line in the sand on my new shot and not the way to are matters of the law justice mercy. And being a Christian human. Jesus says that mercy is a central cord to the Christian experience I love this quotation in essentials unity in non essential oils liberty in all things charity mercy. Is at the core of the Christian experience and who we are but you say Pastor David what about correction. Now I want to be very clear mercy does not imply that we are spineless and unprincipled if someone is heading off a cliff the merciful thing to do is let them know that they're heading it headed in a dangerous direction now I have been the recipient of correction and it has been made very clear in the way that it has been delivered that the person did not care about me mercy is not only the action but the posture and the spirit in which we engage other individuals how have you felt when you've been correct corrected and you know that the person does not care about you sometimes we go out to correct and we're correcting not because we love the person but because it bothers us were annoyed by the behavior. I had a classmate of mine a fellow theology major and we nicknamed him Frank rebuke because he loved to rebuke people just dress them down and that was a character flaw in him because he enjoyed it it was something that he looked for. And this quotation from thoughts on the Mount of blessing has. Simply riveted me the 1st time since the 1st time that I read it now listen to this this is when you know you're ready to go and correct somebody here it is not until you feel that you could sacrifice your own self dignity and even lay down your life I want to read that again and even lay down your life in order to save an erring brother have you cast the beam out of your own eye so that you are prepared to help your brother then you can approach him or her and touch their heart Here's the criteria if you are not willing to die for that person and lay down your life you have no business correcting them Amen you have no business until you are willing to lay down your life then you can approach them in the proper way. Here's some questions that one scholar and theologian asked in reference to Mercy. Can a Christian be consistently merciful and yet be a parent who disciplines for disobedience can a Christian be consistently merciful and yet be an employer who pays good wages for excellent work but dismisses irresponsible employees who do shoddy work can a Christian be consistently merciful and yet be a legislator who annex laws that give stiff penalties for drunk driving and child abuse Life is complicated the Bible does not give just an ethical manual for how to be merciful and how to be just in every single situation. But the Bible does tell us that we as a person should be merciful and I love what John Piper said in his commentary on this if we ask how shall we know when to do justice and how to show mercy I would answer by getting as close to Jesus as you possibly can as you get close to Jesus he will give you discernment when it comes to these very difficult situations of how and when we should apply these biblical principles. There are certain situations that are so complex that really you could argue either way should I administer justice or should I be lenient and administer mercy or what do we do in those times that you could simply flip a coin and you don't know which side of the approach to take many administrators many individuals better in authority have a very difficult decision to make in regards to this I love this from Ellen White if we err let it be on the side of why. Mostly look if it's a going to be a flip of a coin and you just don't know always err on the side of mercy rather on the side of condemnation and harsh dealing now I want you to think about that. Sometimes we get on this hunting crusade. But Jesus is what I remember the core of what it means to be a Christian and if you're going to err err on the side of mercy Luke Chapter 6 verse $36.00 Jesus said Be merciful just as your father is merciful let us pray. Our Father in Heaven Lord you have given us. Chance after chance opportunity after opportunity your mercies are new every know every morning and foller from this frame. And from this reference point Lord we ask that you would help us to reflect this mercy and this deference to others help us to give others the same benefit of the doubt that we give ourselves father made that character and the mercy of God be reflected in us in this community of faith Father give us your divine wisdom as we come to complex situations and circumstances how to administer your grace to others bless us help us to be like Jesus. For we ask these things in Jesus name. In. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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