Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Grace & Mercy

It is important to keep these two theological concepts distinct, because they represent two separate events. Mercy is the removal of a negative consequence that was deserved. In terms of eternity, this is the freedom from Hell. But that does not automatically mean the provision of Paradise. We tend to think that to be saved from Hell automatically means eternity in God's presence, but I don't think it would have to be that way.

Compared to an eternity in torment, annihilation would be a preferred result, and that would be Mercy that is worthy of praise. But God has gone so far beyond Mercy, beyond the elimination of our deserved eternal punishment.

Grace is the recieving of an undeserved good thing. This is relationship with God, this is an eternity in His presence on a New Earth, designed for that purpose. This is a separate and distinct act of God, a separate act worthy of praise and thankfulness.


Rita L. Betti said...

Yes, I've often referred to Grace and Mercy as two distinct and separate actions of God. Someone once said, "Mercy is NOT getting what we deserve, and Grace is getting what we DON'T deserve."

Tanya said...

well spoken. A definite distinction exists and should be well noted. Thank you for highlighting it!

Cami said...

Wow, I'll have to reread this this a few times. I've never heard anyone elaborate in this way before. Hey, you've stumped me; that doesn't happen much in my mind, to my mind. ; ) You're sharing that mercy and grace must go hand in hand; proof of our unworthiness, of His power; His plan of love for mankind. Right?

I.I. said...

What I'm saying, Cami, is that it is easy to think of "grace and mercy" as one THING, or as Rita put it, as one action of God.

I was just trying to point out that in God's goodness, He is merciful, a characteristic which by itself is worthy of praise.

But He doesn't stop there at mercy. He goes on after being merciful, and chooses to also be gracious to us.

Cami said...

Very good stuff!

By the by, did you change your email? I've sent a few things to you but I don't think they're going through?