God's Righteous Mercy

Date: AM
Text: Exodus 34; Lord's Day 4
  1. A seeming contradiction.
    1. God’s justice is that virtue according to which He maintains Himself as the highest and only Good.
    2. God’s mercy is the absolutely blessed One blessing Himself and blessing His creatures who agree with Him.
      1. As the most Blessed One, God is the sole Fount of all blessing for all creatures.
      2. When mercy is given to creatures it implies that the recipients are in misery.
    3. It seems to us that God’s justice and His mercy must conflict with each other.
  2. But there is real harmony between the two. Cf. Ex. 34:7; Ps. 85:10,11.
    1. Both of these attributes are virtues of the one, simple God, and therefore they cannot conflict with each other.
      1. This is because God does not possess virtues, but He is them; He is His perfections.
      2. When man fell into sin, God did not lower His standard, but He maintained Himself as the “Most High Majesty.”
    2. The Catechism emphasizes that we see divine justice in order to understand how horrible sin is.
    3. The cross of Jesus Christ is both the absolute justice and the infinite mercy of God (Psalm 85:10).
      1. It is divine mercy that provides His own Son to bear the punishment to satisfy His justice for the sins of His children.
      2. The cross is where mercy and truth (justice) harmonize perfectly.
  3. Wonderful assurance: God’s mercy and justice harmonize at the cross.
    1. Elect believers must consciously live in the shadow of the cross.
      1. We should be constantly aware that salvation is only of the Lord’s mercy and we are nothing apart from Him.
      2. May this increase our hatred for all sin and wickedness, always beginning with mine.
    2. Implications.