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Difference: Grace & Mercy

Discussion in 'Bible Chat' started by Chad, Apr 22, 2012.

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  1. Chad

    Chad Administrator
    Staff Member

    Feb 9, 2004
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    Question: "What is the difference between mercy and grace?"
    Bible Questions Answered

    Answer: Mercy and grace are often confused. While the terms have similar meanings, grace and mercy are not the same. To summarize the difference: mercy is God not punishing us as our sins deserve, and grace is God blessing us despite the fact that we do not deserve it. Mercy is deliverance from judgment. Grace is extending kindness to the unworthy.

    According to the Bible, we have all sinned (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). As a result of that sin, we all deserve death (Romans 6:23) and eternal judgment in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15). With that in mind, every day we live is an act of God's mercy. If God gave us all what we deserve, we would all be, right now, condemned for eternity. In Psalm 51:1-2, David cries out, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." A plea to God for mercy is asking Him to withhold the judgment we deserve and instead grant to us the forgiveness we in no way have earned.

    We deserve nothing from God. God does not owe us anything. Anything good that we experience is a result of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:5). Grace is simply defined as unmerited favor. God favors, or gives us good things that we do not deserve and could never earn. Rescued from judgment by God's mercy, grace is anything and everything we receive beyond that mercy (Romans 3:24). Common grace refers to the sovereign grace which God bestows on all of mankind regardless of their spiritual standing before Him, while saving grace is that special dispensation of grace whereby God sovereignly bestows unmerited divine assistance upon His elect for their regeneration and sanctification.

    Mercy and grace are best illustrated in the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. We deserve judgment, but if we receive Jesus Christ as Savior, we receive mercy from God and we are delivered from judgment. Instead of judgment, we receive by grace salvation, forgiveness of sins, abundant life (John 10:10), and an eternity in Heaven, the most wonderful place imaginable (Revelation 21-22). Because of the mercy and grace of God, our response should be to fall on our knees in worship and thanksgiving. Hebrews 4:16 declares, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

    Recommended Resource: So Great Salvation by Charles Ryrie.
  2. james g

    james g New Member

    Mar 1, 2011
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    <DIR>Let us with a gladsome mind praise the Lord, for He is kind:
    For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.
    Let us blaze His name abroad; for of gods He is the God:
    For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.
    He with all-commanding might filled the new-made world with light:
    For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.
    All things living He doth feed; His full hand supplies their need:
    For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.
    Let us then with gladsome mind praise the Lord, for He is kind:
    For His mercies shall endure, ever faithful, ever sure.​

    John Milton, 1608–1674
    #2 james g, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  3. El Hombre viejo

    El Hombre viejo New Member

    Aug 30, 2010
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    Hey Chad.
    This is good. I do have a question about Grace however. When did JESUS ever not deserve GOD's grace? When did HE ever not merit GODS favor? According to your post (excellent though it it) I am to understand that JESUS grew in unmeritted favor.

    [h=3]Luke 2:39-41[/h]King James Version (KJV)

    39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
    40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
    41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

    Might I suggest that Grace includes the 'empowering PRESENCE of GOD which enables us to do that which HE has for us to do?

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