AMANA TRUST BIBLE STUDIES

Lesson 14:
God’s Selection in His Mercy
Bible reading
Please pray over these verses. 

Romans 9:14-18
14 What then shall we say? Is there unrighteousness with God? Absolutely not!
15 For to Moses He says, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”
16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very thing I have raised you up, that I might show in you My power, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
18 So then He has mercy on whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills.

Introduction

God’s selection is according to His mercy and not according to man’s will or work. All the benefits that we receive in Christ are because of God’s great mercy and compassion that enable God to bridge the huge gap caused by man’s poor condition.

Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.

Romans 9:16 tells us that “it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” Our concept is that the one who wills will get what he wills to get and that the one who runs will gain what he runs after. If this were the case, then God’s selection would be according to our effort and labor. But it is not so. It is altogether of God who shows mercy. We do not need to will or to run, for God has mercy on us. If we do know God’s mercy, we will not put our trust in our efforts; neither will we be disappointed by our failure. The hope for our wretched condition is God’s mercy. (Elders’ Training, Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles, ch. 2, section 5)

Mercy goes farther than grace. If when I am in a good condition and my standing matches yours you give me a gift, that is grace. However, when I am in a poor condition and my standing is far removed from yours and you give me something, that is mercy. If I come to you as your dear friend and you give me a Bible as a gift, that is grace. However, if I am a poor unclean beggar, unable to do anything for myself and you give me ten dollars, that is not grace, it is mercy. Thus, mercy reaches farther than grace. Grace only extends to a situation that corresponds to it, but mercy goes much farther, reaching into a situation that is poor and unworthy of grace. According to our natural condition, we were far removed from God, totally unworthy of His grace. We were only eligible to receive His mercy.

Even now, after being saved and having participated in the riches of His life, we still, in some ways, are in a condition that needs God’s mercy to bridge the gap. This is the reason that Hebrews 4:16 says that firstly we need to obtain mercy and then we can find grace for timely help. Oh, how much we need His mercy! We must treasure God’s mercy as much as we appreciate His grace. It is always God’s mercy that qualifies us to participate in His grace. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 22, section 2)

 

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Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this lesson.

Further reading:
Life-study of Romans, msg. 22, sections 1-2
Crucial Truths in the Holy Scriptures, vol. 4, ch. 36, section 1

Radio broadcast links:
Broadcast 23, God's Selection, Our Destiny (1)
Broadcast 59, The Selection of Grace

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
Romans 9:15, footnotes 1-2
Hebrews 4:16, footnote 2

Questions for personal or corporate study:
References in brackets indicate readings or broadcasts that may be helpful in answering the questions.
  • Why should we treasure God’s mercy as much as His grace? (Broadcast 23)
  • Explain how God’s mercy is able to reach farther than His grace. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 22, section 2; Hebrews 4:16, footnote 2, Recovery Version)
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Works Cited

Lee, Witness. Elders’ Training, Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1985. www.ministrybooks.org

---. Life-study of Romans. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1989. www.ministrybooks.org

All verses and excerpts © 2021 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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