What is Mercy?

I continue to think things through this week.

What is mercy?

In these verses in Ephesians 2 we find not only God’s mercy, but His grace and love too!

Love, Mercy and Grace!

Three beautiful words!

Just Thinking!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Ephesians 2:4-5 [Emphasis Mine]

Just look at these two wonderful verses. We see that God’s mercy has made us alive, when we were dead, spiritually dead!

Why? Because of His great love for us.

By what? Grace!

We already looked at grace. Grace (khar’-ece) (charis) is God’s unmerited favor and supernatural enablement and empowerment for salvation and for daily sanctification.

Mercy in Greek is eleos (el’-eh-os) the outward manifestation of pity. Our text say’s “But God, being rich in mercy” Rich means that God has an abundant supply of mercy.

Thayer’s Lexicon Defines mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.

I have read and heard it explained like this… “Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve, that is Judgment. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve, that is Salvation.”

The noun [mercy] and its derivatives always deal with what we see of pain, misery, and distress, these results of sin; and grace always with the sin and the guilt itself. The one extends relief, the other pardon; the one cures, heals, helps, the other cleanses and reinstates. With God [grace] is always first and [mercy] is second.

R. C. H. Lenski | LibraryThingR.C.H. Lenski ( N.T. Commentary)

God’s greatest act of mercy is explained in these two verses and it’s done by grace.

But God is the only one that can help us, when we were dead in our transgressions. He (God) being rich in mercy, because of His great love made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

They beautifully summarize what God does for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. First, He gives us spiritual life when we’re spiritually dead, He makes us alive with Christ, He accomplishes this all by His grace.


“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16


He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

I’ll end with this!

Jesus tells a parable to some people who trusted in themselves. The Pharisee and the Publican in Luke 18:9-14.

The Sixth Instruction. That We Should Not Judge Our Neighbor ...

The Pharisee tells God all that he does…“God, I thank You that I am not like other people. swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’” Luke 18:11-12

The tax collect prays… “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’” Luke 18:13

What did Jesus say about this tax collector? I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:14

When the tax collector says be merciful to me, merciful is hilaskomai in the Greek it means, pardon, be propitious. Propitious means a sacrifice.

Mark this, he’s asking God to be his sacrifice! Jesus said he went home justified, righteous before God by imputed righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Think on that!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 2 Corinthians 1:3

But God, being rich in mercy!

…and that’s a beautiful thing!

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