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Mercy and Truth

March 25, 2020
By Martin Luther

"I am not worthy of all the mercies and all the truth which Thou hast shown to Thy servant."

 GENESIS 32:10 (according to Luther's translation)

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Mercy and Truth

This phrase, however, is well-known: "Mercy and truth." For these are always joined in Holy Scripture, in Micah 7:20, for example, and elsewhere in the Psalms. "Mercy" signifies the specific act of kindness or the quality of kindness, as Christ, quoting Hosea 6:6, says in Matthew 9:13: "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." ["Merciful"] refers to him who loves his neighbor and does good to him, and it also refers to the one to whom good is done, to the one who is blessed with many mercies and kindnesses by God. . .. Truth is promise, as Paul says in Romans 15:8-9: "For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy." Christ was promised to the Jews, and so truth was kept with them. He was not promised to the Gentiles but was given to them by mercy. None of our fathers had the promise. God, indeed, promised that He is determined to be God to all men, and this knowledge has been implanted in the hearts of men, as Paul testifies in Romans 1:19. The works and worship of all the nations testify that to be God is nothing else than to do good to men. . . . God is one who promises, and He is truthful.

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