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May Jesus Christ be Praised - Part 5

THE PRACTICE OF PRAISE            Page 2

The Practice of Praise

INVESTIGATE

V. 1 ** As our passage begins, how do we know that it is tied to what Paul has been saying to us over the past four lessons?

Because he again uses the word "therefore", reflecting back upon his masterful portrayal of the gospel or "good news" for both Jews and Gentiles.

** Is Paul about to give a cold hearted command, without any concern or empathy for those to whom he is writing?

No! He does not command them, but instead says I "urge" you. The word Paul uses here is "parakaleo" and meant "to call alongside". It later came to connote exhorting, admonishing, or encouraging. Here Paul is calling his "brothers" in Christ to do the very thing he himself was doing.

** What great, profound, truth was going to make Paul's exhortation possible in the lives of his readers?

"...by the mercies of God..." Paul continues to reflect on what we learned last time, that our salvation was granted to us not on the basis of merit but totally on the basis of God's mercy.
cf. Romans 11:32, Ephesians 2:8, 2Peter 1:1, Philippians 1:29

The means of our obedience is "the mercies of God", for without His mercy it would be impossible for us to please Him.

All see - Hebrews 11:1-3 This hall of fame gives us by name fifteen heros or witnesses to a life of faith which has been granted by the mercies of God, namely His grace and His love!

V. 6 - The writer then goes on to say that "without faith it is impossible to please Him..."

So here is the progression -

1) We please God because of our faith in Him.
2) We received faith as a gift of His grace.
3) His grace was given to us by His mercy.
4) Therefore, we are able to obey Him only "by the mercies of God".

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