"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms 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 - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:4-10
Many people do not know the difference between GRACE & MERCY.
GRACE - is the gift that we don't deserve but are given anyway. That is the gift of eternal life that we are now able to receive just by believing in God the Father, Jesus the Son and Savior & the Holy Spirit.
MERCY - is the punishment that we do deserve but are spared from receiving. This punishment is the eternal damnation that we are now able to avoid through Jesus' death on the cross for our sake.
It is important to note and make clear that we cannot boast - we are NOT saved by our own works - only God can receive the glory. See the verses above where it is stated: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." We did NOT and can NOT save ourselves - it is all from God. It is also important to study the next sentence - "created in Christ Jesus to do good works" - our actions cannot save us HOWEVER - we must act in a Christ-like manner always striving to follow His example and glorify Him.
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:14-16
Grace and Mercy seem to go hand in hand. In these verses above it is important to note that it is a daily struggle. Jesus was here in human form - He totally understands our weaknesses and our struggles. God's forgiveness is never ending and unlimited - which is why we can "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy." We might have to ask for forgiveness many times a day - & that's OK - do this through prayer any time of the day or night - God IS and WILL be there.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Peter 1:3-5
I just love these verses above!!! - This gift of salvation is our inheritance! This Inheritance can NEVER "perish, spoil or fade." This means that nobody else can have the "Power of Attorney" to steal your inheritance away - this inheritance will NEVER become old, it will NEVER rot, it will NEVER lose it's value, it will NEVER die away & it will NEVER be forgotten. This gift of eternal life is guaranteed - it's a for sure thing - All we have to do is believe & accept this gift!!!
Let us never forget what Jesus did for us - We receive both GRACE & MERCY through Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins and then rising again - AMEN.