What is God’s mercy and grace?

Question:  “What is God’s mercy and grace for mankind and how does He demonstrate His mercy and grace to mankind?”

Bible Answers

Mercy is not receiving God’s punishment that we deserve for our sins.  It is God’s outward manifestation of pity and compassion for us.  In the New Testament, the Greek word that is usually translated as "mercy" is from the word eleos. It can also be translated as loving kindness or tender compassion. The Greek word comes from a root word meaning oil that is poured out.  A similar connotation being, God pouring out His love.

When God described Himself to Moses he said,  The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth (Exodus 34:6).  


Grace accompanies mercy.  Grace is the unmerited favor of God toward man, receiving favor from God that we have no right to receive.

The Bible clearly states that we have all sinned (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8), and all unrepented sin ends in spiritual death (Romans 6:23) in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15).  Don't you realize how patient he is being with you: Or don't you care? Can't you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? (Rom. 2:4). His grace and mercy is meant to lead us to repentance.  

In Psalm 51:1-2, David cries out, Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Asking God for mercy is asking God to withhold the judgment we deserve and grant us the forgiveness we have no right to receive.

God’s greatest mercy is contained within His gift of Jesus on the cross for payment of our sins so that we may experience salvation. Whenever we fall short and sin, if we sincerely confess our sin to the Lord, He will always forgive us. It is because of God’s great mercy that we are redeemed from sin, death, and hell. His mercy and love extend His compassion and forgiveness for us. O give thanks unto the Lord: for He is good, for His mercy endureth forever (Ps. 136:1).   

God is a God of mercy who calls the unsaved to himself so that they may receive His mercy and pardon of the punishment that awaits them for their sins.  God is also a God of justice, who will see that those who refuse His mercy will receive the punishment that their unrepented sins have earned.

Trusting God’s mercy does not mean that we no longer need to fight the fight of faith, as with all things related to God, including His mercy, we approach God with faith. When our faith is insufficient, we can always ask for God’s merciful provisions. When you come to the end of your strength, abilities, and fighting the fight of faith, you can throw yourself on God’s mercy and find help. I cast all my anxiety on him because he cares for me (1 Peter 5:7).  He handles our anxieties by His Mercy.  It is through God’s mercy that we receive His gifts, calling, the Word, and His abilities into our life.

The more you come into God’s mercy, the more you learn to trust Him and to release everything to Him every day. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways ask him, and he will make your paths straight (Prv. 3:5-6).  Now you have the secret to God’s mercy, trusting in the Lord.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

As the religious leaders of the day where complaining to Jesus about His disciples, He said to them, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13).  Jesus moved in God’s mercy both by what He said and what He did. Jesus is our model, and like Jesus, we are to exhibit mercy to others.  We are more likely to receive mercy when we show others mercy. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy (Matthew 5:7). God’s mercy is endless and never lacking for those who need it.  

As you read through the Bible, take notice of the hundreds of times someone reached out to God and received His help and mercy.  Just like Jesus showed mercy to the crowds that needed healing, the woman caught in adultery, and the thief on the cross next to Him, we need to be an example of Jesus’ mercy.

After Jesus had been beaten and hung on a cross to die, He still showed God’s mercy when He said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

When life is pressing us down and nothing is working, we need to be sure to reach up to God and obtain His great and powerful mercy.  God’s mercy will see you through. When your faith has failed, it is God’s mercy that will rescue you.  Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with fullest confidence, that we may receive mercy for our failures and grace to help in the hour of need (Heb. 4:16). As we want to receive mercy from God, let us also show mercy to others by our pity, compassion, and forgiveness. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36).    

And when life is running along nearly perfectly, be sure to thank God for His blessings and mercy.


In God’s love for us, he is much more merciful than we can imagine.  His love, patience, and kindness for us are beyond our measuring.  God is not looking for reasons to judge or disqualify, but His nature is to find reasons to raise-up and bless.  God is working overtime to bring us into His love.

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