Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
God says to put on some things. Put on refers to getting dressed and to actively clothing ourselves with these attitudes.
Colossians 3:12-13 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
We need to make sure we’re dressed properly each day so we can face everything with these good attitudes. It’s important that we act right with people in our homes. There will be a lot of other contrary attitudes if we don’t have mercy. To be clothed and put on what God wants, we first have to be made a new creature and put off all the old deeds.
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Putting on bowels of mercy means we have a heart of compassion for others. We’re not doing good deeds to others just to do good deeds. Mercy is not the same as grace. Mercy is deliverance from judgment and refraining from harming or punishing offenders or enemies, extending kindness to the unworthy despite the fact that they don’t deserve it. It is kindness in excess of what is expected, a disposition to forgive and show kindness with compassion. When we come to God and ask him to forgive us, mercy is extended and forgiveness is given so we’re not punished for our many sins against God. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve – unmerited favor. We will be able to put on kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long-suffering because under them we have already put on bowels of mercy.
Colossians 3:8-10 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man…
God wants us to put on bowels of mercy like Jesus had. Peter thought he was being generous when he asked Jesus if he should forgive someone 7 times a day. (The law said 3 times.) Jesus said not 7 times but 70×7 times – 490. God wants total forgiveness in our heart so we’re not holding any grudges, bitterness, resentment or bad attitudes toward anyone.
Luke 6:35-36 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Jesus told the story of a servant who owed the king $16 million. He begged the king to have patience so he could pay it. The king forgave all he owed. A fellow servant owed that servant $15. He demanded the debt be paid. The other servant asked him to be patient and he would pay it all. He wouldn’t wait but had his fellow servant put in jail. The king was very angry. Those who have judgment without mercy receive the same. Mercy rejoices against judgment (James 2:13).
Forgiveness means: 1) We don’t bring up what was forgiven. God does not continually remind us of all the bad things we did before we got saved. If someone continually brings up something that was done in the past, they haven’t really forgiven that person. 2) We treat the one we forgave as if what we forgave didn’t happen. 3) We don’t tell everyone about what happened. 4) We don’t remind ourselves of what we were forgiven of. The devil wants to bring up those things so you dwell on the past and your mind is troubled. They’re under the blood. Think on good things (Philippians 4:8). God always chooses mercy over judgment. Those who choose judgment over forgiveness don’t want to submit to God. The judgment of God is not an act of mercilessness but is when mercy has been rejected. God gives everyone an opportunity to get saved and accept mercy but it’s their choice. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but so they don’t perish and have eternal life. People choose condemnation and refuse to come to the light because they want to live in darkness. When we’re saved, we want the light to shine and show if there’s anything in us that’s unlike God. Judgment is always God’s last alternative.
John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest…are wrought in God.
Abraham and Lot separated in Canaan because their herdsmen disagreed. Lot went to live in Sodom.
Genesis 13:12-13 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
God didn’t hide from Abraham that he was going destroy Sodom because the men were evil there. Lot was in Sodom.
Genesis 18:16-17 And the men rose up…toward Sodom…Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
Abraham didn’t think it was right that the righteous would be destroyed with the wicked and was intervening for Lot.
Genesis 18:20-26 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go…see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it…And the men turned…toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord…said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
Abraham spoke very seriously to God. It had been 20 years since Abraham and Lot separated. He thought there must be at least 10 serving God in Lot’s family. God showed mercy and said he would spare them if there were ten righteous.
Genesis 18:32-33 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak…Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. And the Lord went his way…and Abraham returned unto his place.
The men of Sodom were mad Lot judged that they did wickedly for trying to abuse the angels. The angels blinded them.
Genesis 19:4-7…men of Sodom, compassed the house round…they called unto Lot, and said…Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out…that we may know them. And Lot…said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Genesis 19:9-11 And they said, Stand back…This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee…And they pressed sore upon the man…and came near to break the door. But the men…pulled Lot into the house…And they smote the men…with blindness…that they wearied themselves to find the door.
The angels tried to hurry Lot to get his wife, daughters, and family out of the city because God was going to destroy Sodom.
Genesis 19:14-17 And Lot…spake unto his sons in law…said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked…And when the morning arose…the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and…daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and…of his wife, and…two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they…set him without the city. And…he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee…escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
God wouldn’t destroy Sodom until they got out. Judgment wasn’t coming until were out because God extended mercy. Lot’s wife looked back. We have God’s mercy if we obey. If we refuse to do what he asks, we choose judgment – not mercy.
Genesis 19:22 Haste…thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither…
Genesis 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
God was merciful and his spirit strove for 120 years with the people before the flood came. The evil they were doing in Sodom vexed Lot because he was righteous. It’s up to people whether they accept mercy. Otherwise there’ll be judgment.
II Peter 2:5-8 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon…the ungodly; And turning…Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that…live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul…with their unlawful deeds;)
God wants us to shine and be clothed with bowels of mercy like Jesus so others can get saved.
Luke 17:26-30 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark…flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise…in the days of Lot; they did eat…they bought, they sold…they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone…and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be…when the Son of man is revealed.