God Be Merciful To Me
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 8
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
Luke 18:9-14 “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
This story from the lips of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, tells of two types of men. One man saw himself as good and righteous before God by the merit of his own works. This man- a Pharisee and very religious- thought that God must surely be pleased with all that he had done. Notice, Christ said, he prayed “with himself.” Truly, this man was his own god. He was very proud as he compared himself with others around him and recited his own good deeds. Content with himself, he prayed his prayer and left just as he came-lost and separated from God-satisfied and self-deceived.
The other man, a publican, saw his true standing before God. He knew he was a wretched sinner who had offended God. He knew that he was unworthy even to lift his eyes toward Heaven. Yet, he understood that God was his only hope. He came to God in humility and cried out as he beat upon his breast, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” This man understood the truth. He knew he had nothing to offer a holy God. He could do nothing to rid himself of his guilt. All he could do was cast himself upon God’s mercy. In that moment, this man found salvation. Jesus said he went back to his house “justified”-righteous before God. What made the difference between these two men?
The Bible says...
All have sinned:
Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Ecclesiastes 7:20 “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”
God’s standard is not human goodness. Righteousness before God is not defined by comparing one person to another. God’s standard is Himself. God’s measuring stick is His own perfect holiness. True goodness is perfection in God’s sight.
Have you ever read the Ten Commandments found in the Bible? The Ten Commandments are just a few of the many holy laws of God that should guide our living. Yet each one of us has broken these commandments many times. Have you ever dishonored your parents, or said something that was not true? Have you ever had an impure thought or committed an impure act? Have you ever taken something that did not belong to you or taken God’s name in vain? The list goes on.
We—like the publican in the story Jesus told—are sinners before God. We have broken God’s law. We have offended a holy God.
All will answer to God:
Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
Revelation 20:12-15 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works…. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
All Deserve God’s Judgment:
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…”
Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
What God offers us–His mercy and forgiveness:
Though death and hell are the punishment for sin that we have earned, God is merciful. He loves sinners. We could never save ourselves or rid ourselves of sin’s penalty, so God Himself paid the eternal price for our sin. He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place. Christ came to give forgiveness and eternal life to all who believe on Him.
Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
John 3:16,18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life…. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
God’s Gift of Salvation:
Salvation is a free gift of God given to penitent sinners who call upon Him and believe upon His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ purchased our salvation with His own blood when He died upon a cross in our place. Christ died and was buried; then He arose from the dead on the third day in victory over death and hell. He ascended into Heaven after being seen alive by hundreds of witnesses:
1 Corinthians 15:3-6 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once…”
How to Receive God’s Gift:
We receive God’s free gift of eternal life not by our own works, but by coming to God in simple, childlike faith—by turning in true sorrow from our own sinful way (repentance) and believing that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, paid the penalty for our sins, and that He was buried, and arose from the grave. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Like the publican, you can be justified before God today and receive His mercy. You can know Him personally and look forward to an eternity in Heaven.
Romans 10:12-13 “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Oh sinner, now come to the Savior!
Repent and no longer delay.
The day of God’s judgment is hastening;
Oh what will you do on that day?
The door of salvation is open;
Come to Christ, He is calling today!
Eternity vast lies before you;
Opportunity passes away. —E.D.B.
And Can It Be
He left His Father’s throne above–
So free, so infinite His grace–
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For, O my God, it found out me!
Amazing Love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me!
—Charles Wesley, 1738
You can know the wondrous mercy and forgiveness of God. Call upon Christ today!
If you have questions or have called upon Christ for salvation today, we would love to hear from you.