Social Justice Project #30

The Attributes of God and Justice

Part 9: Merciful

God possesses attributes which are characterized in two categories: incommunicable and communicable. Those attributes which are incommunicable are those that He holds uniquely to Himself and does not share to any degree with human beings. An attribute which is communicable is one that God possesses and exemplifies but is also one which humanity can possess to a degree.

The consistent story of both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures is how God showed and shows mercy to His people. This action of God is certainly undeserved (Deut. 7:6-8), but is coupled with His grace. In His mercy, God made a way for us to be redeemed from our sinful and rebellious state by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, so that anyone who freely repents and believes may access God’s mercy and salvation. We do not receive the just penalty for our sin, but receive life through the mercy of God.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is also merciful” (Luke 6:36, HCSB). We are to show mercy to those who have, by their actions, shown themselves to be our enemies. This certainly includes those who have committed acts of injustice toward us. Although we do not show mercy properly at times to those who have acted unjustly toward us, by doing so, we show ourselves to be children of God (Luke 6:35). The reward for acts of mercy may not be given or seen here, but is known by God and will be rewarded by Him.

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