Grounded in Mercy
Today’s Scripture: Titus 3:5
“He saved us . . . according to his own mercy.”
It was in view of God’s mercy that Paul urged us to commit our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1). Undoubtedly Paul had in mind the mercy of God as he had displayed it in the preceding chapters of Romans. He could have been thinking of the righteousness of God that comes to us by faith, of justification freely by his grace through the redemption that’s in Christ Jesus, or of God presenting Jesus as a propitiation for our sins that turns aside God’s just and holy wrath from us.
No doubt Paul’s mind would once again have dwelt on that wonderful statement in Romans 4:8: “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him” (NIV). He would have thought of how we now have peace with God, having been justified through faith, and that we now stand before him in grace every day. He would have rejoiced in our deliverance from sin’s dominion through our union with Christ in his death. He would have exulted again to know there’s “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). He would have relished again the promises of future glory and the assurance that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus.
In short, Paul would have had in mind the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all its wonderfulness when he wrote of the mercy of God.
This mercy is the ground for our commitment to pursue holiness. Such a commitment as Paul called for would indeed be legalistic and oppressive if it were not grounded in love. And the only way Paul would stir up our love is to remind us of God’s love for us, revealed through his mercy and his grace.