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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mercy and Grace

Concerning the two, Dr. Varner included this in his post at DrIBEX Ideas today,

"The difference between the two? Someone said that mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Grace is getting what we don't deserve.

"I think the difference between the two in Hebrews 4:16 is in their respective focus. We receive mercy for PAST sins and failures. We receive grace for FUTURE temptations and trials.

"That leaves out nothing. It takes care of the past with its guilt that can be a drag on us and keep us from growing. And it takes care of the future with its fear of failure and our weakness to finish the course."

This is really helpful. I have often heard (and given - though worded a little differently) the initial definition of mercy and grace in the first paragraph, but I so appreciate the further explanation he gives. It shows how we are in a constant state of receiving both. Mercy continues to be given because even the sins we committed today are now in the past. And this very moment we are facing temptations and trials for which grace is needed and freely bestowed.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift of salvation through Jesus Christ ! Thanks be to God that He has not left us alone to do the best we can to make our way in the world...because our way would not be the way of righteousness.

"God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one" (Psalm 53:2-3).

"Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

"Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

"For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God {did:} sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and {as an offering} for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 7:24-8:4).

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