This past week I’ve been doing a study of the Gospels, highlighting every time Jesus talks about the reason he became flesh. Let me build up to how he demonstrates that judgment does not contradict the Gospel–but don’t be so quick to get all judgmental on me before you even finish reading, because this has everything to do with mercy.
One thing that has become obvious to me in my studies this week is that the Good News is synonymous with the kingdom of God/heaven and everything he says about it.
James wasn’t joking when he said faith without works is dead. In John, Jesus said the work required of us is that we believe the Gospel.
This is definitely no Stepford Gospel. But the number one error Jesus confronts is hypocrisy (especially in the form of religiosity)–but note that it is the hypocrisy of being harder on others than you are on yourself. The thing he commands the greatest is mercy (love)–the character of God.
Mercy doesn’t mean calling sin ‘good’–it means loving despite sin. Those who lack mercy the greatest are the ones who receive the harshest judgment–so mercy requires judgment of those who are not merciful, and proper judgment requires mercy. Ironic?
Those who don’t “get it” will be baptized with fire, and he refers to his crucifixion as a sort of baptism–so judgment, though harsh, is actually for our benefit, and so it is an act of mercy. I can vouch for that (for what it’s worth), because it is how he brought me back to himself.
There is a harshness of mercy-fueled judgment that communicates love and will “raise them up on the last day”. Then there is a hypocritical judgment not fueled by mercy at all–it will be thrown into the fire (out of mercy). That’s Good News. ♥
If you want a list of the Scripture I highlighted in my study, I am in the process of typing it up–just email me for a copy.
This post is original to Ichthus77.