Friday, November 13, 2015

1 + 1 = Eternal Salvation

Note: Usually, my posts reflect my passion: to bring God's Word off of the page and into our daily lives. To discover how to live it, to be encouraged by it, and how to make it real and alive. But, every once in a while, I want to share something deeper. A new understanding. This is just such a post: 

To explore the depth of God's Mercy and Grace.

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. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:4-5, 8 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)

Mercy and grace. So often we use these words interchangeably. But they are not interchangeable and to understand that is to bring a deeper richness to our salvation.

I know, you probably think I'm splitting hairs here, but bear with me.

Let's begin with mercy because that is where God begins.

In Ephesians 2:4, and in most New Testament verses about God's mercy, the Greek word is

éleos: to pass over deserved punishment. To extend forgiveness instead of punishment. Mercy rescues us from the penalty of sin.

Mercy is proclaimed on the cross. Because of Jesus' death on the cross, we are passed over and we do not experience the death we deserve because of our sins.

God's mercy is expressed in our redemption and forgiveness.

But what if we stopped there? What if God's mercy is all that was offered?

Hear me out...this might seem a bit crazy.

God's mercy is great, to be sure, but, without grace, it is finite.

Christ's death on the cross mirrors the sacrifices of the Old Testament. This sacrifice pardons the sins in the past but not in the future.

How does this forgiveness - this mercy - come forward through time to all men who have ever lived and to all who have yet to live?

Enter grace.

In Ephesians 2:4, and in most New Testament verses about God's grace, the Greek word is

chráis: an absolutely free expression of God’s loving-kindness; His unearned and unmerited favor toward men. A gift with no return expected.

God's loving-kindness toward us is absolutely free. We can't earn it and we can't be worthy of it. It is given, out of the depths of His heart. 

God bathes His mercy in His grace. 

Because of His grace, His mercy is eternal. 

Because of His grace, the mercy of the cross is gifted forward to all men who have ever lived or who have yet to live. 

Because of His grace, the mercy you and I received at the cross reaches through all time to forgive all our sin: yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's.

Because of His grace, we are forgiven and saved for eternity.

His Mercy, His compassion on and forgiveness of our sin through Christ’s death on the cross, is completed by His Grace, the unmerited gift of eternal salvation. 

Mercy + Grace = Eternal Salvation

God's mercy and grace are both centered in God. We can do nothing to gain or to lose them. Saved by God's grace alone, through our faith alone.

Once we are cleansed by His mercy and saved by His grace, it is for eternity. 

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. 1 Peter 3:18a (NIV)

Christ died for our sins (mercy) once for all (grace).

Once - for all men, for all time. 

God's mercy grace-gifted to all men for, all time. 

The key to grace is found in the word gift. A gift unaccepted is an expression of love missed. A gift unopened is a joy missed.

Jesus died for your sins - that's a fact!

The gift offered is eternal salvation. 

Have you accepted and opened God's gift?

Perhaps this post will start a discussion about mercy and grace. Please do! I have much to learn!!


  1. Very good expression of God's Grace and p
    Mercy. Thanks for sharing Stephanie. God bless you.

    1. Where would we be without Grace and Mercy? Thanks for commenting!

  2. Sherry, thank you for this! I'm pretty certain I would have never thought of this, and it hit me like a ton of truths!

    "God's mercy is great, to be sure, but, without grace, it is finite."

    1. I am so glad God blessed you. It means a lot to me that you sensed this as truth. That's all that matters to me! I want to be careful to only write what God impresses upon me as His truth. Thank you for commenting, Gene.

  3. What an amazing gift. The depth of God's love can't be described.

    1. You are so right, Mary! There are no words. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Truly overwhelming to contemplate the enormity of God's marvelous grace. We could soak in this reality for a millennium and still not fully grasp it. Thanks for this study!

  5. You are so right, Mary! We'll never understand it this side of Heaven. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. "God bathes his mercy in his grace." Beautiful. I love how you meant to the original Greek here and gave us a more in depth understanding of what these words mean. Thank you!

    1. It's such a blessing when God opens our eyes to a new understanding. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Abby

  7. Sherry
    This is a great post to share with others (so I will). You did such a great job, describing the important differences...and why we should know them. Thanks.

    1. Thank you, Deb! It seems that there is always more to learn about God's love for us.