Grace and mercy are words that we find as we open the pages of our Bibles. The Apostle Paul uses them quite often and with good reason; grace and mercy are an essential part of our understanding of God’s love and of the salvation we receive in Jesus Christ.
Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus: But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Did you catch that? God is RICH in mercy. Mercy is a commodity that God has in infinite abundance. His mercies are new every morning. He never runs out or tires of being merciful. But what is mercy?
Mercy is the desire to come to the aid of one who is in trouble accompanied by the ability to meet that need. God doesn’t merely pity our condition from afar; He actually intervenes to bring us relief. God’s mercy is an aspect of His love. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. We deserve death and eternal separation from God in hell, but through faith in Jesus we are spared that fate.
For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! (Romans 5:6-8)
Jesus takes our punishment. We are set free. That is not fairness; it is mercy!
But what of grace? We are saved by God’s grace. And note that God is just as rich in grace as He is in mercy. We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:7-8)
God is not stingy with His grace. He pours it out lavishly. That means He gives us grace extravagantly, without restraint, to excess, and even wastefully. God has so much grace that He doesn’t even have to be careful when He dumps it into our lives. He gives grace not by the thimble full but by the barrel full!
So what is this grace that God sloshes on us without reserve? Grace is God’s free, unearned and undeserved favor. Grace is given as a gift to be received and cherished. We are saved by God’s grace, that is, Jesus did everything that is necessary for our salvation and God is willing to trade us our unrighteousness for Jesus’ righteousness. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Grace is getting what you don’t deserve. God’s gift of salvation is not deserved and cannot be earned. It can only be received. God gives us salvation full and free through Jesus. That is not fairness; it’s grace.
And if it were not enough that God gives us grace and mercy as He forgives our sins and saves us, what is even more amazing about God’s grace and mercy is that we live in that same mercy and grace each day. God pours our His grace and mercy into our lives each moment of each day. He is always giving us what we don’t deserve and not giving us what we do deserve.
May you discover the fullness of God’s grace and mercy in Jesus Christ.