Christianity 201

November 23, 2022

Two Sides of God’s Kindness and Goodness: Grace and Mercy

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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Today is another day where we’re highlighting the writing of a new author, and this time around, the blog’s title caught my eye: Maddening Theology. The writer, Tim Madden is the pastor of Cornerstone Bible Church in Browndale, Pennsylvania. As usual, click the title which follows to read this where it first appeared.

The Difference Between Grace and Mercy

Grace and mercy are major themes throughout Scripture. They are both such a blessing to us, but have very different meanings. Often people confuse the two terms because of their similarities. Let’s simplify them here. We are going to oversimplify the terms here, so note that this is not an in-depth study.

GRACE: RECEIVING A BLESSING WE DON’T DESERVE

Grace is receiving a blessing that we do not deserve or have not earned. It can be thought of as God’s unearned kindness. Anything He gives us that we have not or can not earn is grace.

Some great verses concerning God’s grace:

Acts 15:11 “But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

Romans 3:23-24, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

II Corinthians 12:9a “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

MERCY: NOT RECEIVING PUNISHMENT FOR WHAT WE DESERVE

Mercy is also a gift of God’s goodness, but instead of being given something good, it is withholding the bad. Mercy is when we have earned punishment, payment for evil, yet instead of God giving us that, He withholds that punishment from us.

Some great verses about God’s mercy:

Deuteronomy 4:32 “The LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not abandon you, destroy you, or forget the promise to your ancestors that he swore he would keep.” 

Lamentations 3:22 “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.”

Ephesians 2:4-5 “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.” 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

How has God’s grace and mercy been given to you in your life? Why do we need both of these? How have God’s grace and mercy blessed your life recently?


Because today’s article was shorter, we’re going to share another devotional from Tim, derived from the first five verses of Galatians. We’ll share those first, and then you can continue through the article here, or at the link in its title.


NLT.Gal.1.1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.

All the brothers and sisters here join me in sending this letter to the churches of Galatia.

May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.

The Apostle Paul’s 5 Gospel Declarations

In the book of Galatians the apostle Paul spends most of the book talking about grace. He tells us how we receive it, the fact that we cannot earn it, and how we should live in light of the fact that salvation is by grace.

However, in the first chapter of Galatians, he makes five declarations about the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. They are found in the first five verses of the book.

  1. Grace and Peace: This is the good news of grace and peace. God’s grace is huge! This grace brings peace between us and God. They are a package deal.
  1. Only Through Jesus: This is a gospel that comes only through Jesus. It doesn’t come through Mohammed, good works, or belonging to a certain denomination or religion. It comes through grace and mercy by faith in Jesus Christ.
  1. Delivered from Sin: This gospel delivers us from the consequence of sin. John 3:16-18 says our sin condemns us, but Jesus is the one who delivers us. He takes us from darkness to light.
  1. According to God’s Will: This gospel was given by the will of God. It was His plan that Jesus would die on the cross to pay for our sin. There was no plan B.
  1. This gospel brings God Glory: To glorify God is to make Him known and make Him famous. It is to see everything good in our lives and point to Him. This salvation, this gospel, glorifies God.

Have you received the gospel of grace through Jesus Christ? Have you been delivered from sin through His plan of sacrificing His Son Jesus Christ? Do you have peace with God brought through the work of Jesus Christ?

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