Gentle and of Tender Mercy Towards the Children of Men

Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us… – Like 1:78

There is an exceeding melody to my ear as well as to my heart in that word “tender.” “Mercy” is music, and “tender mercy” is the most exquisite form of it, especially to a broken heart. To one who is despondent and despairing, this word is life from the dead. A great sinner, much bruised by the lashes of conscience, will bend his ear this way, and cry, “Let me hear again the dulcet sound of these words, tender mercy.” If you think of this tenderness in connection with God, it will strike you with wonder, for an instant, that one so great should be so tender; for we are apt to impute to Omnipotence a crushing energy, which can scarcely take account of little, and feeble, and suffering things. Yet if we think again, the surprise will disappear, and we shall see, with a new wonder of admiration, that it must be so. He that is truly great among men is tender because He is great in heart as well as in brain and hand. The truly great Spirit is always gentle; and because God is so infinitely great, He is, therefore, tender. We read of His gentleness and of His tenderness towards the children of men; and we see them displayed to their full in the gospel of our salvation. Very conspicuous is this “tender mercy of our God.”~ C.H. Spurgeon


The Tender Mercy of Our God

“To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet into the way of peace.”-Luke 1:77-79

Observe how Zacharias, in this his joyful song, extolled the remission of sins, as one of the most extraordinary proofs of the tender mercy of our God. He had been dumb for a season, as a chastisement for his unbelief; and therefore he used his recovered speech to sing of pardoning mercy. No salvation is possible without forgiveness, and so Zacharias says, “To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins.” The Lord could not forgive them on the ground of justice, and therefore He did so because of His tender mercy-the tender mercy of our God, who has made Himself “our God” by the covenant of grace. He passes by the transgression of His people because He delighteth in mercy… I want any soul here that is burdened with sin to believe in the forgiveness of sins, and to believe in it because God is love, and has a great tenderness towards the work of His hands. He is so pitiful that He loves not to condemn the guilty, but looks with anxious care upon them to see how He can turn away His wrath and restore them to favor. For this reason alone there is remission of sins. Forgiveness comes not to us through any merit of ours, present or foreseen; but only through the tender mercy of our God, and the marvellous visit of love which came of it. If He be gracious enough to forgive our sins, it can be done; for every arrangement is already made to accomplish it. The Lord is gracious enough for this-for anything. Behold Him in Christ Jesus, and there we see Him as full of compassion.

“His heart is made of tenderness,
His bowels melt with love.”

C.H. Spurgeon

He that Believeth

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. – Mark 16:16

One of the simplest declarations of the gospel is, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life;” and one of the last sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ before He went back to heaven was, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” To believe is to trust; and whosoever trusts Christ Jesus, depends upon the merit of His death, relies upon the excellence of His atoning sacrifice, and proves the reality of His faith by confessing it in the Scriptural way, such a man shall assuredly be saved; and, in order to his being saved, he shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by whose almighty power he shall be enabled to conquer the sin that still dwells within him.

Once more, and this is the part of the gospel that is the best of all, in order that you might be able to believe that God can have mercy on the guilty, and in order that you might be saved, God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to offer a full and complete atonement for sin… According to the righteous law of God, sin must be punished. Conscience tells you that it is not possible that guilt should go without its due penalty. Therefore it was that Jesus came, and bore the dread penalty that was due to sin. The lash of the law must fall on someone, so He bared His shoulders to its terrible blows. The sword of divine justice was unsheathed, and it must smite someone; so Jesus gave His heart to that sword’s point, and quenched the flaming blade in the crimson fountain of His own blood. Now that this has been done, God can be just, and yet the Justifier of everyone who believes in Jesus; and the effect of that atoning sacrifice upon everyone who truly trusts to it is that he finds himself so changed that he hates the sin he formerly loved, he rushes out of the wicked way in which he once delighted, he abhors the thoughts that once charmed him, and he turns to the Saviour whom once he despised. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

A Gracious Promise

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord… – Acts 3:19

To the man who confesses his guilt, the law says, “Yes, you are guilty, and you must suffer the penalty attached to your crime.” If a person pleads “guilty” in a court of law, the judge does not say to him, “If you will promise amendment, you may go free.” No, he pronounces sentence upon him, and God, the righteous Judge, might justly have done the same to us; but, instead of doing so, He says, “Forsake your wicked way, and your evil thoughts, and turn to Me, and I will abundantly pardon you. Only repent of your iniquity, and abandon it, and it shall all be blotted out. All the evil of your past life shall be forgiven and forgotten; and your sins and your transgressions I will not remember against you any more for ever.” Oh, precious gospel message! Who would not turn from his sin when such a gracious promise awaits him in the turning?

What you cannot do of yourself, the Holy Spirit will enable you to do, or will do for you. There is no form of sin which you cannot conquer by the power of the Spirit of God, and that Spirit is freely given to all who sincerely seek His aid. He is here on earth still. On the day of Pentecost, He descended from heaven, and He has never gone back again. “But,” says someone, “the Holy Spirit was given to the saints.” Yes, I know He was; but He was also given to sinners like yourself, for Peter said to those who were awakened on the day of Pentecost, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” I wish that many of you would pray the prayer, “Turn us, O God, and we shall be turned.” You must be turned, by sovereign grace, if you would really turn unto the Lord; and you must forsake your wicked way, and your evil thoughts, if you are to be saved, and you cannot do this of yourself; but the Holy Spirit has been given on purpose to enable you to do it. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Return to God

…and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. – Isaiah 55:7

He who would find mercy must return to God to obtain it. Do you ask how you are to do so? Well, first, you must begin to think about God. I really believe that some of you do not think half as much about God as you do about the Sultan of Turkey; and with some of you, almost anybody is a greater factor in your life than God is. With some of you, it would not make any difference if there were no God at all, except that you would be rather glad if that could be proved to be the case, for you would feel easier in your mind, and could, in such a case, go on in your sin without any of the compunction that you now feel. Yet, is it not a singular state of mind for a man, who knows that he is a creature made by God, but who really cares so little about Him that, if he could be assured that there were no such being, he would be better pleased than he is now? Oh, what a wretched state your heart must be in if it feels like that! It will have to be greatly altered if you are ever to be saved.

So, first, you must begin to think of God; and then, thinking of Him, you must yield to Him, give up your will to His will; and, doing that, you must pray to Him, cry to Him for mercy; and then you must trust Him. Especially, you must accept His way of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ; and when you do that, then you will be sure to love Him. When you get as far as that, you will be a new creature altogether. Then, God will delight in you; then, it will be misery to you to be out of His presence, and it will be the highest joy of your life to have constant communion with Him. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts… – Isaiah 55:7

“Let the wicked forsake his way.” Observe that it is “his way” that he is to forsake; that is, his natural way, the way in which he says he was brought up, the way that his natural affections, and propensities, and passions lead him. He must forsake this way, even though it is the way in which he has walked these thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, or even eighty years; he will have to get out of this way, however much he may delight in it. Possibly, he has now got to love sin so much that he says he could not give it up. There are some sins which men roll under their tongues as dainty morsels; but if you are to be saved, you will have to give them up. If you would have mercy of God, you must give them all up. You must give up your old sins, your sweet sins, your pet sins; the sins of the flesh, with all their pleasure, and the sins of the mind, with all their pride, must be given up; for notice that word “forsake.” “Let the wicked forsake his way.” It does not say, “Let him own that his way is bad.” There are some who will say, ‘Oh, yes, I know that my way is very wrong;” and there they stop. Such an admission as that will not save you, my friend; you must forsake your way as well as own that it is wrong. To know that it is wrong, and yet to go on in it, will double your sin. This kind of confession will not help you in the least; on the contrary, it will only increase your guilt. You must forsake your wicked way if you are to be forgiven. “Oh, sir,” you say, “I am very sorry for all the sin that I have committed!” I am glad that you are, and I hope that you will be still more so; but that sorrow alone will never save you. It is not saying, “I am sorry,” nor yet your being sorry for your sin that will save you; that is right as far as it goes, but you must forsake the sin as well as be sorry for it. “I must forsake it; well, I resolve that I will do so.” Yet that resolve by itself will not save you, for there are plenty of good resolutions that are good for nothing. You have actually to forsake your wicked way before you have complied with the requirements of our text. I know how the devil will try to deceive you, when you have made a good resolution. He will say, “Ah, you are a fine fellow; and that is a splendid resolution of yours!” Yet mere resolutions are not worth a penny a thousand; we must act, not simply resolve what we mean to do. We must not be like the man who owes a lot of money, and has not a penny to pay, yet who keeps on saying to his creditors, “I hope I shall be able to pay you tomorrow.” Then, when that day comes, he says he is very sorry, but he missed the friend he expected to see, so he must postpone the payment for a few days; yet, when the few days have passed, there is still nothing forthcoming. So it is with many who resolve to forsake sin; they are like those who promise, but never pay. This will not do; you must forsake your sin if it is to be forgiven.~ C.H. Spurgeon