The definition of Mercy is: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. (In other words, not receiving deserved punishment for wrongs done.)
The definition of Grace is: the free and unmerited favor of God as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowing of blessings. (In other words, receiving blessings that we do not deserve.)
Based on these definitions, it seems to me that Mercy could be considered the foundation of Grace.
There is no doubt that God certainly has the power to punish or harm us if He so chose to do it. But, He loves us all too much to just indiscriminately do that – He is merciful. Instead, He chose to offer us His divine grace. He offers us a free and very undeserved gift of favor and forgiveness that is given to us through salvation, with too many blessings to count.
With God offering us such a full, complete and wonderful gift, then should not we at least try our best to be deserving of the gift? We should strive to live our lives with as few sins committed as possible. Easy to do? NO!
Romans 6:11-14 (NLT) says: “…you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”
And Titus 2:11-14 (NLT) says: “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”
There are those that think because of God’s mercy and grace that they can live any way they want, unconcerned about if it is sinful or not. A belief that you can sin and then just casually ask for forgiveness is a slap in the face of your Savior.
If you believe that you can live your life committing blatant sins, just because you believe He will forgive you, then you truly need to question whether or not your salvation is real or just a game to you.
A true and sincere acceptance of Jesus as your Savior should see a change in you and the way you live your life. Your desire should be to live the best life you can with as few acts of sin as possible. It should not be a cop-out giving you a license to live as you want with no regard to right and wrong. Grace and salvation are not a license to sin.
Yes, thank goodness we do have a Savior that if we do wrong, confess and ask forgiveness, He will do so. But to live a sinful life, doing wrong – maybe even doing the same things over and over again – then asking forgiveness is playing a dangerous game. We need to always remember that there are consequences to everything we do – good and bad. How long will God allow us to repeat and repeat the same sins without repercussions? His patience will not hold out forever – just study how the Israelites pushed their luck with Him and the results.
So, let us daily accept the gift of grace that God has so generously given to us and be thankful for His mercy, by living a good life before Him.
Written by Karran Martin – August 2, 2019