by Dr. Bob Gray Sr.
Romans 5:20, “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound, But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:”
Joel 2:13, “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
Lamentations 3:22, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”
To be slow to anger is the mercy side and great kindness is the grace side of the same coin. Habakkuk 3:2, “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”
Mercy is God withholding what I deserve while grace is God giving me what I do not deserve! I deserve to go to an eternal Hell and I am not going to go there and that is mercy. I deserve to go to the Great White Throne Judgment and face my sins, but I am not going too and that my friend is mercy. I deserve for the wrath of God to abide upon me, but it does not and that again is mercy.
Conversely grace is God giving me what I do not deserve. Basically mercy is what Jesus died to give me and grace is the bonus that He gives me in addition to what He died to give me and all who trust Him as payment for their sins.
Mercy is getting back what sin cost me and grace is giving me more than I lost! WOW! Somebody say amen! Mercy is God withholding what I deserve while grace is God giving me what I do not deserve.
If mercy is saving me from an eternal Hell grace then is taking me to Heaven. Grace is a positive thing that God gives to me, which I do not deserve. Mercy is God not giving me what I do deserve. Mercy is God withholding what I deserve while grace is God giving me what I do not deserve.
John 3:14-15, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
When it says should not perish that my friend is mercy and when it says but have eternal life that is grace. Mercy is God withholding what I deserve while grace is God giving what I do not deserve.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Mercy is I deserve to go to Hell forever but I am not going to go to Hell but I have everlasting life and that is grace. If all I receive is the absence of Hell that is a pretty good deal and if mankind just returned back to the Garden of Eden that would not be bad! Man feel from Eden sand mercy brings us back to Eden’s level but grace takes to Heaven’s level!
John 5:24, “…shall not come into condemnation…” that is mercy. “…but is past from death unto life…” that is grace. Mercy saves me from Hell and grace takes me to Heaven! Mercy removes my sins from God’s book in Heaven while grace means God will not write any more of my sins down in His book.
Mercy paid my back debt while grace paid my future debt! Mercy says God has erased every sin on my record in Heaven and grace says God will not record any more sins. Mercy forgives my sins while grace justifies me as if I’d never sinned. Mercy removes me from the book of death while grace puts me in the book of life. Mercy removes me from being punished at the Great White Throne Judgment while grace gives me rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
God is saying now that you have trusted Jesus Christ you will not have to appear at the Great White Throne Judgment. That is what John 5:24 means when it says, “…shall not come into condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”
Thus, mercy says I will not have to someday stand before the Great White Throne Judgment and be cast into the Lake of Fire while Grace says I will be able to stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ to be rewarded for what I have done for Christ and then live in Heaven forever.
Mercy removes His wrath while grace gives me His love. Mercy saves me from a life of uselessness while grace gives me a life of usefulness. Mercy says old things are passed away while grace says all things are become new.
If the blood of Christ redeems, you have been the recipient of God’s mercy, which means you will not receive what you deserve!
All of us deserve to go to Hell when we die and burn forever but God says to us I love you and if you will trust my Son to pay for your sins I will give you mercy. That is why in the Scriptures God always associates mercy with sin and with judgment. Grace says I ‘m going to take you to Heaven forever. Mercy buys back what I lost in Eden while grace gives me more than I lost!
THE PRODIGAL SON
A good example would be the story of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 16. He has been in the far country, wasted his inheritance, lost all, and ends up in the hog pen. He comes to himself, arises, goes to his father, and says the servants in my father’s house have it better than I do. He returns home! Mercy caused the dad to take his son back while grace says we have a party for you. We have a ring, new shoes, and new clothes for you. Now if all the father had done were take his son back that would have been mercy and that would have been enough.
However, the father said to the son in essence I have more for you than just mercy. I have a ring for your finger! I have shoes for your feet! I have a new suit of clothes for you body! Mercy is taking the son back into the home while grace is the ring, the new shoes, the new cloths, the fated calf, and the party!
We are fortunate recipients of the mercy of God if the blood of Christ saves us! We fell from the Garden and we are restored by His mercy but His grace says I’m not going to leave you at the Garden level for I will take you up to Heaven!
Mercy is restoring the saved
Grace is raising the saved to a higher level
Jesus saw that we deserved to end up in a devil’s Hell, to stand before the Great White Throne Judgment, and face our sins. However, Jesus loved us and He went to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins with God offering us mercy so we would not go to Hell and that is mercy.
Hold it that is not all! Jesus said I’m also going to take the redeemed to Heaven when they die and that my friend is grace. Mercy is God withholding what we deserve while grace is God giving us what we do not deserve.
Mercy is what you and I ask for when we came to Christ. Check the Scriptures and see how many times the Scripture says “have grace on me.” It is not there but you will find, “Have mercy on me.” When you come back to God you always pray, “Have mercy on me.” Mercy is what you ask for while grace is a bonus, which God gives to you.
After David sinned he never asked for grace. Psalm chapter 51 starts out, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” Wait a minute! David never said, “Let me write more Psalms?” God gave David some Psalms to write because of God’s grace!
David begged God not to punish him even though he deserved such and God said, “Ok, I’ll give you mercy” God said to David if you will beg for mercy I’ll give it although you don’t deserve it but I’ll also use you again by giving you grace.
When Gomer came back to Hosea after living a life of whoredoms the Scripture says he betrothed her in “mercy.” It did not say he betrothed her in “grace” for it was mercy that caused Hosea to forgive Gomer. It was grace that brought Gomer back home to be Hosea’s wife and to marry her again.
Luke 18:13, “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his beast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”
The publican came to Jesus and beat upon his chest and said, “Be merciful to me a sinner.” He did not say, “Be gracious to me a sinner.” When people have sinned they first want mercy because they are attempting to stay out of the punishment. Our Saviour says, “I’ll take you out of the punishment because of my mercy but I’ll do more than that for you because of my grace.”
Mercy is God withholding what I deserve while grace is God giving me what I do not deserve. The publican went down to his house justified while the Pharisee went down to his house not justified. Mercy takes us back where we were while grace takes us beyond where we were. Mercy is the fulfillment of justice while grace takes us beyond justice.
FIVE WORDS-SIN, JUDGMENT, JUSTICE, MERCY, AND GRACE
Sin must be judged. Someone has to pay. Jesus Christ died to give us mercy while Christ lives to give us grace. 37 times the Scripture says, “His mercy endureth forever.” 10 times in the Scriptures the term “tender mercies” is used. His appeal is tender!
I Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Three times in the Scriptures it says, “…he is plenteous in mercy.” Psalm 106:7 talks about “…multitude of mercies…” Nehemiah 9:19 talks about “…manifold mercies…” or all variety of mercies. Ephesians 2:4, “He is rich in mercy.”
Think about it? In the Garden of Eden the innocent body was affected by sin. So, God says, “My mercy will save you and by my grace I will give you a glorified body.” So when man fell in the Garden God’s mercy would be there to save his soul and His grace would be there to take man to a higher plain.
In Eden man was with God and then man fell because of sin. God in his mercy said I would save the soul of those who trust my Son for payment of their sins. However God in His grace said not only I am going to be with you but also I will be in you. “Christ in me the hope of glory.”
In the Garden when we fell our sins were removed by mercy of those who trusted Christ as Saviour and grace recorded Jesus’ righteousness to our record in Heaven. If all we received were mercy our records in Heaven would be blank and that is mercy but grace places Jesus’ righteousness on my record in Heaven and allows me to enter Heaven.
If God can give us mercy when we sin then we should give mercy when others sin
If God can give us grace after mercy then we should give grace after mercy to others.