– David Dickson
Not What We Deserve
I think a good description of mercy is this: Mercy is where we don’t actually receive what we deserve. In other words, we don’t have the wrath of God abiding on us anymore because we’ve placed our trust in Christ (John 3:36). God withholds His holy, righteous indignation against sinners (that’s us) because of Christ. That is mercy! It is that which we don’t get (His wrath) that we deserve–it’s all about mercy.
Not What We Earned
Not one of us could ever earn our own salvation by works. I hope you know that because if we try to add works to our salvation, then we have made God’s grace not a free gift but works-based salvation; and that’s not how it works. The fact is that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Aren’t you glad for that!?
Not Able to Express
Sometimes, as Mr. Dickson said, it is nearly impossible to describe the superabundant mercy of God. Paul writes, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15), and even “though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9).
As Mr. Dickson said, “Our mind cannot find a comparison too large for expressing the superabundant mercy of the Lord toward his people” because it is not what we deserve, it’s not what we can earn, and we’re not even able to express it with adequate words. That’s because the mercy of the Lord is superabundant.