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“He Delighteth In Mercy”
In Christ and for his sake, the God of glory delights in mercy. It is his glory and pleasure to be merciful. Mercy is never a mere wish or dormant desire in God to do something for miserable sinners. Oh, no! God’s mercy in Christ is ever active, operative, and effectual, gloriously effectual. Look at what Micah says God will do for sinners, because “he delighteth in mercy.”
He will pardon iniquity, because “he delighteth in mercy.” He who is our God is the holy Lord God “that pardoneth iniquity.” The word “pardoneth” means that he lifts up sin and takes it away. He lifts sin up off of us and lays it upon Christ, the true Scapegoat, who takes it away.
That is exactly what happened at Calvary (Isaiah 53:6). This is the good news of the gospel. God says to every believing sinner, — “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee” (Zechariah 3:4).
Transgression Passed By
The Lord God passes by the transgression of his elect, because “he delighteth in mercy.” There is an elect remnant among the fallen sons and daughters of Adam, chosen of God unto eternal life, whose sins were put away by the sacrifice of Christ, “a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:5). Having put away their transgression by the sacrifice of his Son, God passes by it, taking no notice of it, as if he did not see it, because he does not see it (Numbers 23:21). Therefore, he will never impute sin to his people, nor call them into account for it (Romans 4:8). Through the blood of Christ, it is covered, atoned, blotted out and washed away.
As C. H. Spurgeon put it, “Our sins are so effectually removed that we shall not ultimately suffer any loss or damage through having sinned.”
He who is our God forgives sin. His very name is forgiveness (Exodus 34:5-7). God forgives sin completely, absolutely, irreversibly, and forever, because he forgives it justly! God forgives sin upon the basis of justice satisfied. He forgives the sins of those for whom Christ died, because justice satisfied demands it (Romans 3:24-26).
Anger Not Retained
God will not retain his just anger against his people, because “he delighteth in mercy” (Isaiah 12:1-2). God’s anger, wrath, and justice, being fully satisfied in the sufferings and death of Christ, are turned away from his people. Where there is no offense, there is no cause for anger. Since God has put away our sins by the sacrifice of his dear Son, he has no reason to be angry with his people; and he never is!