v 5. he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
Some of us carry around a bundle of old baggage! The guilty secrets and memories of past failures seem to return to haunt us from time to time. It is as if an old enemy stirs up the cesspit and the stink of our rotten past floats through our minds. It is at such moments that we need to remind ourselves of God’s mercy poured out to eliminate the stench. Just maybe you have in your home an air freshener – a little bottle with a wick going down into something sweeter smelling that somehow disperses the odour of yesterday’s curry. God’s mercy has dealt with the offensive odour of past sin. It doesn’t just mask it, it eliminates it. Return to the image of baggage – the load of your past has been taken off your shoulders. That’s God’s mercy – you are now free to walk upright because God has taken the initiative and dealt with your past sin. You didn’t earn forgiveness through somehow masking your failure with a cloak of good deeds – No – the consequences of all your past sin have been eliminated and God has wiped your slate clean. It is only an old enemy that stirred a memory. You are in a position to tell the enemy to ‘Clear Off’. The bill has been paid. God paid it – that is mercy.