Be Merciful To Me, A Sinner
Most of you will recognize the title from Luke 18:13. The two men went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee tried to glorify himself in his prayer, but the publican just exclaimed he was merely a sinner and asked for God's mercy. Most of us understand that everyone who has the capacity to think for themselves sin. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 6:23 explains that the wages of sin is death. We also understand this to mean that sin will bring the punishment of eternal torment to those who do not change their ways.
When we realize that we sin, and that we are accountable to God, we come to learn that our actions have been in violation of God's will. This upsets God, and we should be sorrowful that we have caused God any heartache at all.
We also know that as long as we have sin in our life, we cannot approach God to establish a relationship with Him. So we are aware that removing sin is the only way that we can be clean enough to approach God. So what can I do, or anyone do, to get rid of their own sins. First this is where repentance comes in. Repentance literally means a change in direction. While it does include a change in heart, there must of necessity be a change of direction your life is going. The best way to say this is: "STOP THE SIN!!!.
Even if we do change direction and start to live the way God wants us to live, we still have that stain of sin in our lives. The change of our life is not enough to get us right with God. So what can I do to remove the sin? Sadly, there is nothing I can do to remove the sin from my life. I am doomed to eternal torment if I cannot remove my sins.
This is where the mercy of God comes into play. I cannot do anything to remove my sins even if I do change my lifestyle and attitude and behaviors. This is where God provided the means to have my sins washed away. God sent His Beloved Son to earth to pay the price for my sin. Jesus died on the cross for all. Yet that does not cleanse all. Many will still suffer in torment. In order that the death of Jesus helps me get right with God, I must contact the cleansing blood of Jesus. How is this done? It is very simple. I must be baptized to have my sins forgiven and washed away. The apostle Paul was told to "arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16). Only through obedience to the command of baptism can anyone be saved from their sins. Now, after baptism if I sin, I can follow the instructions of 1 John 1:7-9. To be in fellowship with God, I must walk in the light as He is in the light, and I must confess my sins. This is how God can be merciful to me, a sinner.
By Carey Scott
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