Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God’s people; once you were unpitied, but now you are pitied and have received mercy.
And if you had only known what this saying means, ‘I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For I came not to call and invite [to repentance] the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), but sinners (the erring ones and all those not free from sin).
So they also now are being disobedient [when you are receiving mercy], that they in turn may one day, through the mercy you are enjoying, also receive mercy [that they may share the mercy which has been shown to you—through you as messengers of the Gospel to them].
For God has consigned (penned up) all men to disobedience, only that He may have mercy on them…
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