What does a “true child in the faith” look like? The Bible states that “you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48b). What is perfection? The world describes it as “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects” – Google Dictionary.
The Lord mercifully punishes and restores us. He does not abandon His people, nor cease to desire all men to come to Him. The First Testament documents the constant holiness and mercy of God toward His people, and it is a foreshadow of the mercy He again illustrated later in sending His Son Jesus Christ to earth to be born of a virgin and die for the sins of humanity, Jews and Gentiles both. The gift He sent to die on the cross, the Lamb of God, is mercy in the truest of definitions.
Mercy is God’s gift to repentance. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines mercy as “kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly.” All mankind deserves to be treated harshly, for our transgression is great. It is our fleshly nature to transgress, to disobey God. All mankind are prodigal sons who have left their father’s house to live a life of sin. Not everyone realizes, as the Prodigal Son did, that the largest estate in sin is far more wretched than the least in the Kingdom of Heaven, for “when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my Father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men”’” (Luke 15:17-19).
Have you ever struggled with trusting what you believe? Have you ever wondered, “What if our theology is wrong? How do I know my theology will keep me through the real test?” These questions made me realize our faith can be shaken, if it is built on anything less than His faithfulness, His salvation bought by His blood, and His righteousness.