Differences between Mercy and Grace! What are they? is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast.
Today, being the first show of the new year, we are going to talk about what the differences are between Grace and Mercy. We all need them from God just to get through this year, so why not make sure we know the differences between the two.
The Greek word used for “mercy” is most often- eleos (pity, compassion) and for “grace” is charis (favor). Mercy is the act of withholding deserved punishment, while grace is the act of endowing unmerited favor. In His mercy, God does not give us the punishment we deserve, namely hell; while in His grace, God gives us the gift we do not deserve, namely heaven. Mercy and grace are two sides of a coin – and that coin is LOVE. Mercy and grace are often mistakenly thought to be a New Testament concept. But in fact, they are manifested throughout the entire Scripture.
Mercy has to do with kindness and compassion; it is often spoken of in the context of God not punishing us as our sins deserve. Grace includes kindness and compassion, but it also carries the idea of bestowing a gift or favor. It may help to view mercy as a subset of grace. In Scripture, mercy is often equated with deliverance from judgment and grace is always the extending of a blessing to the unworthy.
May we never take God’s mercy for granted, in fact, if God gave us all that we deserve, right now we would all be condemned for eternity. Psalms 51:1-2 “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.”
We deserve nothing good from God. God does not owe us any good thing. What good we experience is a result of the grace of God. Ephesians 2:5 “Even when we were dead in our trespasses, we were made alive together with Christ by grace we have been saved. Grace is simply defined as “unmerited favor.” God favors us—He shows us approval and kindness—in blessing us with good things that we do not deserve and could never earn.
Ephesians 2:4-9 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- 9 not by works so that no one can boast.
In Psalms 103:1-5 we see both Mercy and Grace given to the Israelites: Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits- 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.
We can find God’s Mercy and Grace throughout The Bible. In fact, it is filled with God giving it to many imperfect people to accomplish His purpose.
GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT:
1. God’s grace infuses Noah’s Story. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen 6:8).
2. God’s grace endures in spite of Abraham and Sarah’s unbelief. “And in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:3b).
3. God’s grace for Joseph gave him the strength to persevere. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Gen 50:20).
4. Moses doubted God at every turn, yet God graciously guided him. “But Moses said, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else’ (Ex 4: 13).”
5. The Israelites repeatedly rebelled against God, yet He graciously rescued them. “And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer (Judges 10:16).”
6. Rahab bravely asked God to save her (in spite of her past sins) and He did! “The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below (Josh. 2:11b).”
7. David lusted, stole, fornicated, lied, and killed—yet God saw his heart and loved him. “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin (Ps. 51:1)”
GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT:
In Acts 8:3 we see Saul who became Paul persecuting the church. Yet God in Acts 9 converted him to become an apostle of Christ, the author of nearly half of the New Testament.
In Luke 22 and Mathew 26 we find Peter as an angry foul-mouthed person denying Jesus and yet God used him to preach and about 3,000 were saved.
In John 20 Jesus tells Thomas to stop doubting him and believe and yet God used him to preach the Gospel in India and possibly Indonesia.
In Luke 8 and Mark 16, the bible says that Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed and yet God graciously gave her a wonderful chance of being the first witness of the risen Christ. John 20:14
OTHER PASSAGES THAT TALK ABOUT GODS MERCY AND GRACE:
In Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
Titus 3:7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
John 1:17 where says, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
2 Timothy 1:9 sheds some valuable light on this topic, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.”
Without God’s grace, salvation is impossible!
Acknowledge of our need for grace and mercy:
To embrace the mercy and grace of God, we need humility James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. Micha 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
We must first confess that all humans are sinners, nobody is able to meet God’s standard of perfection. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 5:20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.
If you are humble and are ready to accept God’s grace and mercy today you can. There is a deep desire of humanity for freedom from our sins and burdens. And the good news is that God has offered His mercy and grace to us for free. The Son of God has done for our behalf all that we need for our salvation. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.
We are saved not because we are good, but it’s all because God is good. He has paid all the necessary payments for our salvation for us.
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