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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney


This week we are considering the fifth Beatitude,

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.’ (Matthew 5:5)

We can define mercy as undeserved generosity or compassion in action.

Today we will be looking at the link between receiving and giving mercy from Jesus’ teaching on prayer.

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (6:12, 14-15)

The psalmist also wrote,

‘With the merciful you show yourself merciful’. (Psalm 18:25 ESV)

Jesus makes it clear that it’s only the merciful who will be shown mercy by God. All of these Beatitudes are a portrait of the Christian, and all Christians will show mercy.

Being merciful does not make us a Christian, but it does reveal whether we are ‘born again’ by the Holy Spirit and have received a new life and nature, which is true of all true Christians. Lloyd-Jones wrote,

‘To be Christian, I say, is to possess a certain character and therefore to be a certain type of person. So often that is misinterpreted and people think that what the New Testament exhorts us to do is to try to be Christian in this and that respect, and to try to live as a Christian here and there. Not at all: we are Christians and our actions are the outcome of that.’

Transformation into the image of God always accompanies true salvation. If you have received Jesus, you have been united with Him in His death and resurrection! You are a ‘new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christians will be merciful because the Spirit is at work in them.

Let’s finish by meditating and praying out of a wonderful text that speaks of what we were and how the Spirit is changing us.

‘At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.’ (Titus 3:3-5)

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It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

What have been your 'highs' and 'lows' this week?

Introduction - please share in your group

This week in our discipleship series, we are considering the fifth of the Beatitudes,

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

We can define mercy as undeserved generosity or compassion in action.

The Parable of The Good Samaritan is a great example of the kind of mercy that we are to show. The Parable ends with Jesus saying,

“Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37)

The Beatitudes are a portrait of a true Christian; all Christians will show mercy. They understand how God has been merciful to them in their sin, and this overflows into all of their relationships. Christians also have a new nature; they have been 'born again' by the Holy Spirit and are being made into Jesus' likeness.

Discussion questions

1. Did God speak to you about anything in particular from Sunday's message or the blogs this week?

2. This Beatitude teaches that it's only the merciful who will be shown mercy. Clearly, we are not saved by our works of mercy, so how would you explain Jesus' words here?

3. Let's try and think of as many ways that we can show mercy in our every day lives.

4. Let's pray for one another that we would be more merciful in our disposition.

Investing and inviting

1) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?

2) How are you planning to 'invest and invite'?

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