“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16)
God’s grace and mercy can be viewed as two sides of the same coin. Grace on one side gives us what we do not deserve; mercy on the other hand does not give us what we do deserve. Grace, often defined as unmerited favor, is offered freely by God, “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). It is offered to us only through faith in Christ so that we may clearly understand that it is not obtainable by any adherence to the law. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
The law is holy, just, and good (Romans 7:12), but unfortunately it magnifies our sin and shows us how far we are from reaching the perfect standard of our holy and righteous Creator. Thankfully, God’s amazing grace overpowers our magnified sin, as it “super abounds” above our transgressions. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20). God is also rich in His mercy toward us (Ephesians 2;4), as He extends His loving compassion to us despite our sinful condition.
Our salvation is rooted in God’s mercy, as He hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). Grace and mercy are glorious gifts from God that should take us to our knees in worship and adoration. We can bring absolutely nothing to God except a humble and thankful heart as we trust not in our works, but solely in the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5). Thank God that “His mercy endureth forever” (Psalm 136:26)
The qualities of God’s character by which He shows himself compassionate, accepting, and generous to sinful human beings, shielding them from His wrath, forgiving them, and bestowing them His righteousness so that they can live and grow in faith and obedience. Grace and mercy are particularly expressed through God’s covenant with His chosen people and through Jesus Christ atoning death on the cross. 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 and showing mercy to us when we have fallen by God’s grace from our own sins. 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, God is faithful and just. We deserve noting 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 mankind regardless of their spiritual standing before Him, wile saving grace is that special dispensation of grace whereby God sovereignly bestows unmerited divine assistance upon His elect for their regeneration and sanctification that will be earned through Christ. Mercy and grace is best illustrated in the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ.
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