Ladies’ Bible Study 6.11.18

Tonight we enjoyed brownies, fruit, and cheese & crackers with coffee and tea. Then we continued our Bible study through Matthew with some talking points from Arthur Pink’s An Exposition on the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:3-6
“It is to be kept steadily in mind that in the preceding Beatitudes our Lord is describing the orderly development of God’s work of grace as it is experientially realized in the soul.” p. 22
“First, the Spirit brings before the conscience the holy and inexorable requirements of God. Next, He convicts the soul of its destitution and guilt, so that he realizes his abject poverty and lost condition, seeing there is no hope in and from himself. And then He creates a deep hunger and thirst which causes him to look unto and seek relief from Christ, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’” p. 26
p. 26
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7
“Instead of attributing genuine felicity unto the possession of outward things, He affirmed that it consists in the possession and cultivation of spiritual graces.” p.29

“The first four [Beatitudes] may be regarded as describing the initial exercises of the heart in one who has been awakened by the Spirit, whereas the next four treat of the subsequent fruits. In the preceding verse the soul is seen hungering and thirsting after Christ, and then filled by Him, whereas here we are shown the first effect and evidence of this. Having received mercy from the Lord, the saved sinner now exercises mercy unto others. It is not that God requires us to be merciful in order to obtain His mercy—that would be to overthrow the whole scheme of grace— but having been made the recipient of His wondrous grace, I cannot now but act graciously toward others.” pp. 29-30

This reminded us of Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35

“First, let us endeavor to define the nature of this mercy. This mercifulness upon which the Divine approbation rests is a holy compassion of soul, whereby one is moved to pity and go to the relief of another in misery.” p. 30

“Mercifulness, then, is a gracious disposition toward our fellow creatures and fellow Christians. It is a spirit of kindness and benevolence which sympathizes with the sufferings of the afflicted, so that we weep with those that weep.” p. 30

“But it is a holy disposition in contrast with that foolish sentimentality which flouts the requirements of justice, and which inclines many to sympathize with those in deserved misery. That is a false and unholy mercy which petitions the powers that be to cancel or modify a just and fully merited sentence which has been passed upon some flagrant offender. Therefore we are told, ‘And of some have compassion, making a difference’ (Jude 22)—King Saul defied this principle when he spared Agag (I Samuel 15). It is also a holy compassion as opposed to that partiality which is generous to some and harsh to others.” p. 30
“This mercifulness has not its roots in anything in the natural man. . . That which Christ here inculcated and commended is very different from and vastly superior to natural amiability: it is such compassion as God approves of, which is a fruit of His Holy Spirit and is commanded in His Word. It is the result of Christ living in us.” p. 30

“This mercy is something more than a feeling: it is an operative principle. It not only stirs the heart, but it moves the hand to render help unto those in need, for the one cannot be severed from the other . . . [I John 3:16-18] makes it clear that no work of mercy is shown to those in misery except that it proceeds from the inward compassion. Thus we see what is the “mercy” which is here mentioned: it is that which exerts itself in doing good, being a fruit of the love of God shed abroad in the heart.” pp. 30-31

“This mercy . . . is seen to be an unmistakable trait of the new man.”
Psalm 37:21
Examples from Scripture:
Abraham rescued Lot (Genesis 13, 14)
Joseph forgave and cared for his brothers (Genesis 37:3 through 45:15)
Moses forgave and interceded for Miriam (Numbers 12:13)
David spared Saul (I Samuel 24:4-7)
p. 31

Romans 12:8
“ . . . [cheerfulness] is what gives chief value to the service rendered. If God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-8), it is equally true that He takes notice of the spirit in which respond to His precepts.” p. 31

“A word now on the reward: . . . Our acts of mercy are not meritorious in the sight of God: had that been the case, Christ had said, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain justice,’ for what is meritorious is due reward by right. Our text has nothing to do with salvation matters, but enunciates a principle pertaining to the governmental ways of God, by which we reap what we sow and have measured again to us according as we have meted out to others.” pp. 31-32
Matthew 7:2
Galatians 6:7
Isaiah 64:6
Proverbs 21:21
“First, there is an inward benefit. The one who shows mercy to others gains thereby . . . (Proverbs 14:21, Proverbs 11:17) Second, he reaps mercy at the hands of his fellows: the overruling providence of God causes him to be dealt with mercifully by others . Third, he receives mercy from God.”
Psalm 18:25
James 2:13-18
II Timothy 1:16, 18
Jude 21-22
“Then let us prayerfully heed the exhortations of Romans 12:9-21, Galatians 6:2, Colossians 3:12-17.” p. 32

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