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Grace and Mercy


Have you ever stopped and considered the value of grace and mercy? These are terms that Christians often talk about, but do you truly understand what they mean? I often confuse these terms and decided to take a deep dive into their meanings. So, let’s dive in!


Hebrews 4:16 shares, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (New King James Version). I often hear of God’s grace and mercy talked about together, but they are two distinct gifts that Christians receive from God. I often confuse these terms (I even had to look them up to write this), so I will share a brief definition, a Bible passage demonstrating the term, and a personal application to make the term come to life.


Grace is undeserved merit or favor. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJV). This passage indicates that salvation is a true gift from God. There is nothing that I could do or not do to earn it. I could never be “good enough” to earn salvation on my own. All I must “do” is accept the gift that God freely offers to all of humanity. 


Mercy is God withholding the punishment that I deserve. As Titus 3:5 shares: “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (NJKV). My sin deserved punishment, but God sent Jesus to take my punishment. Sadly, Romans 3:23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” is true. No one, besides Jesus Christ, has or will live a sinless life. Therefore, we each deserve punishment for our sins. Jesus came to earth to save humanity from this punishment. This, my friend, is mercy. 


Let’s go back to the first passage Hebrews 4:16 and use these definitions to expand this passage. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace [undeserved merit or favor], that we may obtain mercy [not receive the punishment we deserve] and find grace [undeserved merit or favor] to help in time of need” (NKJV). This exercise helps me better understand what the Bible has to say about grace and mercy. 


As you can see, grace and mercy must go together. For by mercy, I do not get what I deserve, punishment for my sin. By grace, I can receive what I have not and cannot earn, salvation. This is the crux of Christianity. Praise God!


-Dr. Elissa Rogers (a contributing writer and member of the COBI community)


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This provides insight into the thought that we can through prayer and the grace of God change our lives and that what we needed to change was forgiven. Thank you for the message of mercy!

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