Sin Extinguished by God’s Mercy


We live in a country in which we pride ourselves on freedom, after all we are the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” While we very well may live among many brave, we really don’t live in a land of the free – politically or spiritually. In the same way we live with the facade of freedom while truly living under subjugated work environments and oppressive political constructs, we can possess the sense of spiritual freedom while all along being enslaved to our own desires and demands. This latter slavery is much more severe with immense eternal significance.

Freedom is elusive. We often think we possess it while remaining enslaved. At least this is what Paul teaches us in Galatians. We think freedom is the ability to do whatever we desire, and yet Paul presents freedom as the ability to no longer be enslaved to the desires of our own flesh but instead the ability to serve others.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. . . . But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal 5:13–16 ESV).

When you think you’re free because you can do whatever you want, the reality is that you are enslaved to your own lust and desires. This is not freedom. In fact it is the most destructive slavery.

True freedom is found only when we are freed from ourselves. True freedom is acquired  only when we are immersed in the mercy and grace of God as experienced in and accessed through Christ.

CHRYSOSTOM. Thy Master is able so to blot out thy sins that no trace even of them shall remain. In the natural body, indeed, though the wound may be healed, yet the scar remains; but God does not suffer the scar even to remain, but, together with release from punishment, grants righteousness also, and makes the sinner to be equal to him who has not sinned. He makes the sin neither to be nor to have been. . . . Sin is drowned in the ocean of God’s mercy, just as a spark is extinguished in a flood of water.”[1]

THOMAS MANTON. [In a message on Psalm 119:41, potentially quoting Chrysostom, and speaking of God’s mercy.] It is plentiful in God; he is rich in mercy, abundant in goodness and truth. Thy sins are like a spark of fire that falleth into the ocean; it is quenched presently. So are all thy sins in the ocean of God’s mercy; there is not more water in the sea than there is mercy in God.[2]