Wednesday, April 14, 2010

God who shows mercy

My dear friend, when we ask for pardon, reconciliation, salvation, we must remember to whom we speak, and who we are who ask the favor. Some appear to deal with God as if he were bound to give salvation; as if salvation indeed were the inevitable result of a round of performances, or the deserved reward of a certain amount of virtue. They refuse to see that salvation is a pure gift of God, not of works, not the result of merit, but of free favor only; not of man, neither by man, but of the Lord alone. Though the Lord has placed it on record in his word, in the plainest language, that “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy,” yet the most of men in their hearts imagine that everlasting life is tied to duties and earned by service.

From a sermon entitled "Help For Seekers Of The Light," delivered August 8, 1869. Image by Sam Wilson under Creative Commons License.

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