Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without
which no man shall see the Lord, HEB 12:14.
The infinite holiness of God's nature
vehemently hates sin. It is this same holiness which so strongly
inclines His heart to show mercy. This can be seen clearly from the
contrast between the righteous and the wicked. "A righteous man
regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked
are cruel," PRO 12:10. This cruelty reveals a wicked heart; as
mercy reveals holiness.
When a person has difficulty with acts of mercy and
forgiveness, the seeds of wickedness that remain hidden in the heart are
revealed. We are admonished in ROM 12:21, "Be not overcome of evil,
but overcome evil with good." This is only done by showing mercy
and forgiveness after gaining the victory over one's own heart.
Oh, beloved, how often it seems as though our
patience is spent, and we can bear no longer. Showing mercy and
forgiveness seems to become impossible. Then, the only way to gain the
victory over our evil heart is by, "Looking unto Jesus the author
and finisher of our faith...that endured such contradiction of sinners
against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds," HEB
Jesus so beautifully reveals the tender mercies of
our Heavenly Father in MAT 7:11, "If ye then, being evil, know how
to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" The
holiness of God is demonstrated by His compassionate heart, filled with
The acts of mercy and forgiveness are the fruits
which lead to peace with all men, which is holiness. A right view of
God's holiness reveals His pardoning mercy, for it is His holiness that
obliges Him to be faithful in all His promises. Is not this the
consolation a poor trembling soul has in Christ?
The Lord uses His holiness to pledge His promises in
ISA 41:14, "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will
help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of
Israel." It is the holiness of God which gives us the assurance
that, "All the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen,
unto the glory of God," 2CO 1:20.
The reason for a man's unfaithfulness in a promise
proceeds from some unholiness in the heart. Jacob ascribed faithfulness
unto God's promises, even though he complained, "Your father hath
deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to
hurt me," GEN 31:7.
To the man who follows peace with all men, and
holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord, "...a vile
person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that
sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not," PSA 15:4. Amen.
Who, O Lord, with Thee abiding,
In Thy house shall be Thy guest?
He that slanders not his brother,
Does no evil to a friend;
To reproaches of another,
He refuses to attend.
Wicked men win not his favor,
But the good who fear the Lord;
From his vow he will not waver,
Tho' it bring him sad reward.