God’s Abundant Mercy
1 Peter 1:3
(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
From the day we were saved, God has shown us his abundant mercy to us in myriad ways, perhaps the greatest being that he sent His Son Jesus to die on the Cross for our sins; it does not end there.
In this passage of Scripture, Peter, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says, “Blessed be the God…of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope…”
Let’s take a look at some cross-references on the words abundant mercy to get a deeper understanding of what the Bible is trying to say here.
(6) And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
(7) Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
As we see here in the above passage, the mercy of the Lord is first associated with the forgiveness of sins. If there was no greater mercy that God could offer other than forgiveness of sins, that would be enough. God has always been merciful and forgiving, and that was shown and exhibited before the entire world by Jesus Christ on Calvary’s Cross. It is because of Him that we have forgiveness of sins.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Because of the riches of God’s grace (undeserved mercy) toward us, we have forgiveness of sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
There are several other verses that refer to the Lord’s mercy. The psalmist says this:
(5) For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
(15) But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
In these two verses, there are a few key words that I want to point out. First, the psalmist says: “For thou, Lord, art good…ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy…”
This word plenteous is repeated in verse 15. Whenever God repeats something, it is worth going deeper. Let’s take a look at the Hebrew to get a deeper understanding.
raḇ rab, rab; by contracted from 7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality):—(in) abound(-undance, -ant, -antly), captain, elder, enough, exceedingly, full, great(-ly, man, one), increase, long (enough, (time)), (do, have) many(-ifold, things, a time), ((ship-))master, mighty, more, (too, very) much, multiply(-tude), officer, often(-times), plenteous, populous, prince, process (of time), suffice(-lent).
The Hebrew word used here in this context has several meanings, but the most apparent meaning is that God gives exceeding, great, or that he multiplies mercy to all that call upon Him. It also means that God is abundant (or abounding) in mercy. He has plenty of mercy to give. The Apostle Paul mentions this again in Ephesians:
(7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
(8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
(9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The Bible says that God showed to us the “exceeding riches” (abundance) of his grace (underserved mercy) in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. All of God’s mercy was shown when Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world. That is the full abundance of God’s mercy poured out on mankind. That is why we are not saved by works, we are saved by grace through faith plus nothing.
May God bless you all today. More to come later this week…..