Held Together By Mercy
The Challenge and Beauty of Relationships
Relationships are fulfilling. Relationships give meaning to life. Relationships offer hope and joy. But they are not easy. Relationships require commitment, give and take and the dedication to love through the disagreements, hurts and trials. Relationships challenge us with their conflicts and thrill us with their beauty, but they are not easy.
But our relationship with God was not easy. In the book of Romans, Paul decribes us in the following ways:
1) "under sin" (3:9)
2) "short of the glory of God" (3:24)
3) "ungodly" (5:6)
4) "sinners" (5:8)
5) "enemies" (of God) (5:10)
6) "enslaved to sin" (6:6)
7) "slaves of sin" (6:20)
8) "nothing good dwells" (7:18)
9) "wretched man" (7:24)
What a mess! We were sinners, slaves, enemies of God, ungodly and wretched. YET, still:
1) God gave us "redemption" through Christ (3:24)
2) God gave us "peace with" Himself (5:1)
3) God gave us Christ who "died for the ungodly" (5:6)
4) God showed "his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (5:8)
5) God gave us "newness of life" (6:4)
6) God set us free from sin (6:6)
7) God gave us "no condemnation" (8:1)
8) God gave us the promise of being "glorified" (8:30)
9) God gave us the promise that "nothing could seperate us from the love of God" (8:39)
In our wretched state, God did not leave us, though we rebelled against him and sought after only what we desired. God still made the ultimate sacrifice to forge a relationship with us. Beginning in Romans chapter 12, Paul calls on the church to approach each of their relationships with that mercy in mind. Paul exhorts us to live out our faith in all our relationships: with family, friends, the church, believers, non-believers, neighbors and authorities. He gives us specific sintruction about what those relationships are to look like. AND IT IS CHALLENGING. But, the basis of why we would live in these ways is what God did for us.
Why should I treat someone better than they treated me? Because God has treated me better than I EVER treated him. Why should I sacrifice myself for the sake of others? Because God made a sacrifice far more than I will EVER make in order to have relationship with me.
This is a practical series on what God calls us to in every relationship we have. That calling is based upon one thing: the mercy God showed to us.
Join us for 11 weeks as we study relationships held together by mercy.