Merciful God – How does God's mercy differ from His grace ?

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Merciful God – How does God's mercy[1] differ from His grace[2]?

When we consider our merciful God, we often confuse[3] the terms[4] mercy and grace. While similar in meaning, they are two different ideas. Mercy is God not punishing[5] us as our sins deserve[6]. Grace is God blessing[7] us despite the fact that we don't deserve it. It is unmerited favor[8].

Since we are all sinners[9] (Romans[10] 3:23), we deserve death (Romans 6:23), so every day we live is an act of mercy from God. On the other hand, we deserve nothing from God. Any good thing that comes into our life is a result of the grace of God (Ephesians[11] 2:5).

Salvation[12] is a great illustration[13] of both mercy and grace! Because we are sinners, we deserve judgment[14]. However if we receive Jesus Christ and His gift of eternal life, we receive grace. Hebrews[15] 4:16 declares[16], "Let us then approach the throne of grace[17] with confidence[18], so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

We can cry to God for mercy, asking Him to withhold[19] the judgment we deserve and instead grant to us the forgiveness[20] we in no way have earned[21]. Psalm[22] 51:1-2 shares how David cried out, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love[23]; according to your great compassion[24] blot out[25] my transgressions[26]. Wash away all my iniquity[27] and cleanse[28] me from my sin[29]."

Ephesians 2:7-9 says, "And God raised us up[30] with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms[31] in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith[32]—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift[33] of God—not by works, so that no one can boast[34]. For we are God’s handiwork[35], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance [36]for us to do."


Khoa Anh ngữ

Học viện Mục vụ TGP. Sài Gòn

[1] Mercy: Lòng thương xót

[2] Grace: Ân sủng

[3] To confuse : Nhầm lẫn

[4] Term: Thuật ngữ

[5] To punish: Phạt

[6] To deserve : Xứng đáng

[7] To bless: Ban phúc lành

[8] Unmerited favor: Ân huệ nhưng không

[9] Sinner: Tội nhân

[10] Romans: Thư Thánh Phao lô gởi tín hữu Roma

[11] Ephesians: Thư Thánh Phao lô gởi tín hữu Êphêsô

[12] Salvation: Sự cứu rỗi

[13] Illustration: Sự minh họa

[14] Judgment: Sự phán xét

[15] Hebrews: Thư gởi tín hữu Do Thái

[16] To declare: Quả quyết, xác nhận, tuyên bố

[17] The throne of grace: Ngai Thiên Chúa là nguồn ân sủng

[18] Confidence: Sự tự tin

[19] To withhold: Bỏ qua

[20] Forgiveness: Sự tha thứ

[21] To earn: Có được

[22] Psalm: Thánh Vịnh

[23] Unfailing love: Tình yêu muôn thuở

[24] Compassion: Lòng trắc ẩn

[25] To blot out: Xóa sạch

[26] Transgression: Vi phạm

[27] Iniquity: Hành động sai trái

[28] To cleanse: Thanh tẩy

[29] Sin: Tội

[30] To raise someone up: Cho ai đó sống lại

[31] Realm: Vùng đất, cõi, vương quốc

[32] Faith: Lòng tin, Đức tin

[33] Gift: Món quà

[34] To boast: Khoe khoang, tự phụ

[35] Handiwork: Tác phẩm bằng tay

[36] In advance: Trước