Switch to Forum Live View Mercy triumphs over Judgment
|5 years ago :: Nov 28, 2008 - 3:30AM #1|
You all - I just wanted to share the talk I gave Tuesday night:
My actual talk - 5 minutes +(oops - went overtime)
Theme is announced first: Mercy triumphs over judgment.
I started with asking the audience to read James 2:13 with me.
(James 2:13) . . .For the one that does not practice mercy will have [his] judgment without mercy. Mercy exults triumphantly over judgment.
Then I considered how our being forgiving will open the way for mercy to triumph over judgment for us - covering a multitude of our sins - And quoted Matthew 5:7 - Happy are the merciful since they will be shown mercy; and Matthew 6:14,15 - that if we forgive men (and I noted this is not only our brothers) their sins we will be forgiven by our heavenly Father (Jehovah) but if we do not forgive then God will not forgive us. Then I mentioned the parable in Matthew 18:23-35 - and specifically how any sin we forgive would be like the 100 denarii in the illustration (at most) whereas the debt our Master (Jesus Christ) forgives us is like the 60 million denarii - and that if we do not forgive our brothers from our hearts (Mt. 18:35) we will not be forgiven - like that unforgiving slave who was thrown into prison (he could never pay back 60,000,000 denarii - a denarius was one days wage).
Then I considered the definition of mercy - Greek eleos - that it does not mean merely to forgive. ‘eleos’ means the action of mercy - merciful acts - in contrast with the Greek splag·khni´zo·mai which refers more to the feeling of mercy. So eleos refers to the compassionate acts involving pity and undeserved kindness that forgiveness opens the way for!
Then I considered the context:
James 1:27 - caring for widows and orphans in their tribulation would be merciful acts.
James 2:15,16 - caring for our brothers and sisters in need - rather than just words “keep warm and well fed” are what mercy really is.
My theme emphasized - in these ways mercy will triumph over judgment as Jehovah will show mercy to us because of our having been merciful and thus we will not be judged (in this context judgment is negative - as it is often in Biblical context - though not always).
Then I considered James 4:11, 12 - that we should not speak against our brothers as if we were judge - rather let mercy triumph over judgment - who are you to be judging your neighbor?
Then I considered James 5:9 - that we should not heave sighs at our brothers if they vex us - rather as we learned in our book study last week - we love our brothers and as Colossians 3:13 brings out: we freely forgive one another if there is ever a cause for complaint.
Then I asked: how far should our mercy extend? The conclusion of James (5:13-20) shows it goes all the way to those who have sinned very seriously - as the merciful arrangement of going to the elders and being given Scriptural counsel and help and being prayed for and having a multitude of sins covered over - even though some discipline might be necessary - here mercy again triumphs over judgment!
While the elders have the primary responsibility - we all are included as James 5:16 counsels us to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another.
It extends even to those who have gone into a sinful course - and James 5:19,20 shows mercy triumphs over judgment also for those we show mercy to - that by thus being turned back and now being repentant they will avoid negative judgment and a multitude of their sins will be covered over!
Then I showed this mercy can be shown even to those who doubt some of our teachings (possibly becoming apostate) - we read Jude 22,23
(Jude 22-23) . . .Also, continue showing mercy to some that have doubts; 23 save [them] by snatching [them] out of the fire. But continue showing mercy to others, doing so with fear, while YOU hate even the inner garment that has been stained by the flesh.
In fact this is what we will be studying about in January - two wonderful study articles in our 11/15 Watchtower. The first entitled “Help those who stray from the flock” refers to the parable in Mathew 18:12-14 - how there is more joy over being merciful to the one sheep who has strayed than the 99 who are still in our congregation!
Then the second study article “Help them return without delay” considers ways we can help (not just the elders - we all share responsibility for our beloved brothers who have strayed) those who have strayed for reasons considered such as: anxieties of life; stumbled by someone or something; a problem with a teaching; improper conduct.
My conclusion (I didn’t hear the overtime watch alarm) so our Ministry School overseer was coming up (I got the hint) was from the 1/15/09 Watchtower study article concerning our being stewards of underserved kindness in various ways (1 Peter 4:10). That underserved kindness is related to mercy and that we show this both to our brothers and sisters and to our neighbors as we bring them the good news of God’s kingdom. [and I smiled and hurried (jokingly) off the platform as the audience laughed …they heard the two overtime watch alarms I didn’t hear until the last seconds.]
I didn’t have time to add this illustration in that 1/15/09 Watchtower - we were asked - which is more important - to show underserved kindness to our brothers or to our neighbors in the preaching/teaching work? Imagine you are a bird that flies with two wings - which wing would be more important?
Likewise both are important ways for us to be stewards of underserved kindness.
I also did not include this further way mercy is to be shown - I intend to remind our elders of this privately:
That in the 11/1/96 Watchtower the merciful arrangement of two elders calling on disfellowshiped ones once per year was brought out - to try to help them return
And the same point brought out in the 7/15/93 Watchtower about calling on disfellowshiped ones once per year with the same attitude that Jehovah has - and this beautiful verse (see context) was used in that article:
(Ezekiel 34:16) 16 “The lost one I shall search for, and the dispersed one I shall bring back, and the broken one I shall bandage and the ailing one I shall strengthen, . . .
Comments and questions are welcome, of course.
|5 years ago :: Nov 28, 2008 - 6:55AM #2|
Excellent presentation. My best friend in the congregation had this part. Before we went on reading some good information about the subject. I like this one:
*** it-2 pp. 376-377 Mercy ***
As a merciful God, he exercises patience because “he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.” (2Pe 3:9) Jehovah is desirous of doing good toward all, he prefers this (compare Isa 30:18, 19), he finds ‘no delight in the death of the wicked,’ and “not out of his own heart has he afflicted or does he grieve the sons of men,” as in the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. (Eze 33:11; La 3:31-33) Thanks for sharing.
(Isaiah 21:8) . . .Upon the watchtower, O Jehovah, I am standing constantly by day, and at my guardpost I am stationed all the nights.