What mercies of God is he holding up as the logical progression that he can hold a “therefore” next to?
Well, chapters 9 through 11 of Romans reflect God’s right to show mercy to whoever He willsâ€”both to the believers and to the unbelievers alike. Paul concerned about the salvation of Israel shows how Israel has been set apart so that God could show them that they are not believers and thus show mercy to the whole lot of them. God’s incomprehensible yet awesome wisdom that he would show mercy to a peopleâ€”who were not His people (namely us old Gentiles) so that He could show mercy to His actual people who were being stiff necked and disobedient.
And there’s God shouting out to stubborn Israel “All the day long I have stretched out my arms to a disobedient and obstinate people!” Can you see the picture? God like a Father stretching His arms out to His stubborn child waiting to show mercy and forgiveness!
A mercy and forgiveness shown to all: both Jews and Gentiles. If it were not for the mercy of God, Adam would’ve been wiped out in the Garden and heaven would still have been perfect. If it were not for the mercy of God there would have been no radical plan for salvation enacted. If it were not for the mercy of God there would have been no savior sent to take the burden of sin on the cross.
Therefore, by these mercies of Godâ€”do what Paul is strongly requesting!
But it doesn’t end there for in Romans 5 one would do well to note that all of us were dead in the sins of Adamâ€”in other words, our bodies were slaves to sin. Constantly seeking to feed the lusts of our flesh but upon believing in the Son, God identified us filthy people with His perfect One. And as His Perfect Son died on the cross He sees us as dying in Him. And as His Son is raised up from the grave He identifies us in His Son, risen with Him so that we can now walk in a different lifeâ€”not for ourselves but in newness of life within Christ. So then in a very real sense it is no longer we who lives but Christ living in us!
Therefore by these mercies of Godâ€”do what Paul is strongly requesting!
But it doesn’t end there for God doesn’t just want us to get up and walk in newness of life but He wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son. So the Lord Jesus requested of the Father that we inherit His Spiritâ€”the Comforterâ€”who comes along side us and indwells us and helps us in all things. We don’t even know how to pray or what to pray what we should pray for but the Spirit that knows the mind of God takes our prayers and gives them proper utterances which we can’t even conceive to bring to our lips. And the Son who alone has the power to condemn (for He is a man who came into the world but the world rejected Him and He now has the right to judge His enemies) sits now at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. And God the Father alone (who alone pours wrath on the guilty) justifies us reflecting the trinity in its glorious entirety altogether on the side of the believer ensuring that those God has called will be ultimately glorified.
Therefore by these mercies of Godâ€”do what Paul is strongly suggesting!
But if we go further back we will see that every sinner stood before God on equal groundâ€”deserving the wrath of the Living God. Every sinner, be it sanctimonious Jew, moralist Gentile, or perverted heathen: all stood on the same ground in respect to His wrath. But God took His Son, had Him lifted up on the cross as a public testimony for all to see and then poured wrath out on Him leaving a way possible for sinners to be saved. For by pinning their trust on the Lord Jesus Christ and believing that God raised Him from the Dead the person is saved, is justified in God’s eyes and can shout out the words of David “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgivenâ€”whose sins have been covered! Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account!”
So if you’re seeing a pattern you’re starting to grasp the enormity of what’s going on here. It’s not that anyone can pay God back for anything: it’s that God has altogether made it possible for people to do what is being strongly requested through Paul.
We were pinned down under God’s wrath…but God made a way possible to not be under wrath. We were slaves of sin but now we are slaves to a new master. We are weak in our bodies but God is altogether on our side. Bolt, after cuff, after link falling to the side by God’s grace and power leaving us altogether unshackled to Freely Do!
Therefore people who have been unshackled by these repeated and constant mercies of Godâ€”Paul the apostle strongly requests of you to do this!