“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy”
Today we come to the last of the four motivations for unity.
“if any affection and mercy”
Once again, this “if” is true. We can translate “if” as “since”—”Since it is true” that we have affection and mercy . . . Paul assumed that it is normal for Christians to have concern and love for each other.
The word “affection” means tender affection, whether it expresses itself in love, mercy, or compassion. This is the term for the seat of our feelings.
“Affection” means the seat of compassion, and “mercy” means mercy itself. Paul assumed that we have both a heart for mercy and that we execute mercy. That is a normal Christian life. “If you have a heart and if your heart expresses itself in mercy, listen to me.” That is a powerful appeal for unity.
“Mercy” is subjective compassion. As mercy witnesses the misfortunes of others, it has a sense of sorrow for the ills of others.
The Lord Jesus, when He saves a soul, makes a hard, cruel, coarse person different. That person now has the capacity to be kind, gentle, and loving. Culture does not do that. The government cannot do that.
A person who has come to know Christ can extend affection and mercy.
Knowing Christ, who produces affection and mercy, is the reality of being a true Christian. Since you have become a Christian, no doubt, you have sensed a new capacity to extend mercy. If that is true, to whom is your mercy extended?