Saved By Mercy

A Lord's day reflection on how our only boast, our sole merit, and our one praise in worship is that we were found by the mercy of God.

Saved By Mercy

One of the chief distinctives of Christian worship is that when the saints gather for worship, they do not primarily think about their devotion to God, their fitness to worship Him, or all that they have done for God. Rather, the whole focus is on who this Triune God is and what He has done for us. In other words, Christian worship is only possible if we are self-forgetful and have a humble appreciation of the grace of God.

Our passage, Titus 3:4-7, makes this fact quite clear. Paul is reminding Timothy that the Church should "speak evil of no one" and be "courteous to everyone," even the unbeliever. Why? Because, as it says in Titus 3:3, we were also “once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”

So we are no different from anyone else. We have no moral superiority to claim over others. What makes us different rather is that the goodness and kindness of God has found us in His mercy and saved us. It's our only boast, our sole merit, our one praise.

So when we come to worship, we must forsake all pride, all arrogance, all bigotry, and all snobbery. We are not primarily thinking of how better we are, or how different we are. We are not better in and of ourselves from anyone, be it some unbeliever, or some other Christian in another church.

No, we have only one boast–God has been merciful to save us, and that “NOT because of works done by us in righteousness” (Tit. 3:5).

In fact, when we look at this concise summary of the gospel from Paul, He does not list anything we do, not even our faith. Rather, look at what he says:

God’s goodness and kindness appeared
–He saved us
–According to His mercy
–He washed us with regeneration or the new birth
–He renewed us the Holy Spirit
–Whom He poured out on us richly
–Through Jesus Christ
–Making us right with Him in His grace
–Made us heirs of eternal life.

It's all God’s doing. We are only recipients of God’s mercy.

So why do we find ourselves on the Lord's day morning in the assembly of God’s people to worship this great God? Because we have been recipients of God’s mercy. We are not in the assembly because we are more sensible, or more learned, or more intelligent, or more pious, or more studious, or more righteous than others. No, we are foolish and disobedient just like the rest of humanity, BUT God in Jesus Christ had mercy on us.

Unless we embrace this posture of humility and appreciate the grace of God in all its breadth and depth, we cannot fully worship our God. For if we do not appreciate the grace of God, we will not have the wonder it evokes that this great and holy God in the Lord Jesus Christ has had mercy and compassion for foolish and disobedient sinners like us. And unless we have wonder for God and His grace, there cannot be any worship.

So be encouraged, dear brothers and sisters, to shed all self-righteousness, any thought of superiority over others, and humbly embrace your identity as that of a sinner saved by the mercy of God. Let us so come humbly to worship our God with that sense of holy wonder that despite all our unworthiness, God has been merciful to lavish us with such a great salvation in Christ. Let us make this holy boasting in the Lord that “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy.” Amen.