Christian BoyLove Forum #66318
"Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." 1 Peter 2:10
In the course of looking for something else, I ended up doing a word search on the word 'mercy' and was rather shocked by what I discovered. There are many ways of understanding what it is to be a Christian, but one that is currently out of fashion is expressed in the verse above: we have RECEIVED MERCY.
It's hardly a surprise that it's out of fashion - it sits badly with our concept of 'rights', being loved by God etc. Yet it is a strong theme in the Bible; the NRSV offers 75 usages in the Old Testament and 56 in the New. It's the word that Jesus uses in the story of the unforgiving servant; the master showed the heavily indebted servant mercy, but that servant failed to show similar mercy.
And it's a reminder to us BLs that we aren't unique in needing mercy. We have a tendency to follow the world and beat ourselves up about being BLs. The reality, of course, is that every human being needs God's mercy in order to be accepted by Him. Perhaps Christians should give up asking 'Are you born again?' and instead ask 'Have you received God's mercy?' It brings into focus the need for the start of a Christian's rebirth to be in recognising that they HAVE sinned and need God's mercy, a detail that can get lost in enthusiastic evangelism.
'Have you received God's mercy?'
'What are you doing with the opportunity that it's provided you with?'
[I'll offer a more complete analysis of the word in the next few days, so if you think my exegesis here is a bit cavalier, please resist the temptation to argue until I've done that.]
• ( https link ) NRSV word search on 'mercy'.