Grace, Mercy, Love and Peace

Grace, mercy, love and peace. These are four prominent words, often heard, and often spoken, probably even more so by those in the church. We read about these words in the news, listen to sermons about them, and incorporate them into our day-to-day language.  In my own life, I know these are words that I use often in prayer. I use these words when I pray over myself, when I pray for others, when I pray for the nations and when I adore God. The other day, as I was driving and praying, the familiarity, yet unfamiliarity of these words struck me. I was familiar with them because I proclaimed them so often in prayer. Yet, at the same time, the deep meaning of these words struck me, and I paused to think about them. Grace, mercy, love and peace – words used so often in church. Grace, mercy, love and peace – words that describe an omnipotent God. Grace, mercy, love and peace – words that are part of a growing relationship, one where we each personally interact with Jesus. Do we really know what they mean when we proclaim them in prayer? I know I am still learning, but here are some of my thoughts.

  • GRACE: That we deserve death, but Christ redeemed us to life with His blood and righteous covering.
  • MERCY: That God shows forbearance and patience with the world, giving time for repentance and salvation for all nations before He comes to judge the earth.
  • LOVE: That we will never be forsaken, but remain constantly in the inescapable embrace of a perfect Lover, God, and that His love overflows through us as worship to Him, and love to others.
  • PEACE: That we live lives satisfied by Christ alone, confident of our identity in Him and knowing that His kingdom will indeed come as He has promised.

(P.S There is not enough room to contain all that is in the bible regarding these words but this is just a snapshot. So, I would encourage you to read, and ask the Holy Spirit yourselves as well)

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Grace

That we deserve death, but Christ redeemed us to life with His blood and righteous covering.

1. God is perfect justice and man is sinful. Grace covers man’s sin and fulfils God’s justice. It is the demonstration of God’s righteousness

  • [Romans 3:23-25] – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.”

2. The means to grace is faith in Christ.

  • [Ephesians 1:6-7] – “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”
  • [Romans 5:1-2] – “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
  • [Ephesians 2:8] – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” 

3. The grace of God is eternal since we will be raised up with Christ to dwell with Him forever.

  • [Ephesians 2:7] – “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

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Mercy

That God shows forbearance and patience with the world, giving time for repentance and salvation for all nations before He comes to judge the earth.

1. Why does God show mercy? Because the Lord has a jealous and zealous love for His people.

  • [Jeremiah 3:12] – “…’Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause my anger to fall on you For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever.”
  • [Zechariah 1:14-16] – “… I am zealous for Jerusalem And for Zion with great zeal…Thus… I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it…”

2. How is mercy shown? Is in shown in how God patiently but fervently pursues us so we would turn to Him and be saved.

  • [Joel 2:12-13] – ““Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger and of great kindness.”
  • [Roman 2:3-4] – “And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgement of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”
  • [1 Peter 1:3] – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

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Love

That we will never be forsaken, but remain constantly in the inescapable embrace of a perfect Lover, God, and that His love overflows through us as worship to Him, and love to others.

1. GOD’S LOVE FOR US

  • God has a love that faithful, everlasting and overcomes death.
    • [Song of Solomon 8:6] – “Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is a strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame.”
    • [1 John 4:9] “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be propitiation for our sins.”

 2. OUR LOVE FOR GOD

  • Quite simply, we love God because He first loved us. The more we receive His love, the more we can love Him.
    • [1 John 4:19] – “We love Him because He first loved us.”
    • [John 7:38] – “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

 3. OUR LOVE FOR OTHERS

  • Why? Firstly, because this is the natural consequence of loving God, and the natural fruit of obedience to His commands.
    • [1 John 4:20-21] – “If someone says, “I love God.” And hates his brother, he is a liar: for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
  • Why? Secondly, because love will cover a multitude of sins.
    • [1 Peter 4:8] – “And above all things, have fervent love for one another for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
  • How? By being active and wise stewards of the Holy Spirit’s gifts.
    • [1 Peter 4:10] – “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
      • (V9) “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”
      • (V11) “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
      • [I John 3:16] – “By this we know love, because He laid down his life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
        • (V17) “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” – this is not just in terms of material goods (money, food, shelter, assets etc.), but also God’s blessing on this earth (spiritual gifts of joy, wisdom, testimony etc.)
        • (V18) “My little children, let us not love by word or by tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

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Peace

That we live lives satisfied by Christ alone, confident of our identity in Him and knowing that His kingdom will indeed come as He has promised.

1. Peace is found through identity in Christ, the Prince of Peace.

  • [John 17:26] – “And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
  • [John 10:27-28] – “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
  • “Peace be with you” – not just a greeting, but a promise of the peace found in Christ, and a blessing.

 2.  Peace is found in the government of Christ as we are perfectly restored in relationship with God the Father.

  • No one can stop the certainty of God’s coming kingdom
    • [Isaiah 9:6-7] – “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end…”
    • [Revelation 22:3] – “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.”
  • Jesus Himself give us His peace and assures us that He will return
    • [John 14:27-29] – “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now, I have told you before it comes, that when it comes to pass, you may believe.”
  • In remembering the peace of God and His coming kingdom, we partner with him to proclaim His peace, call for His righteous justice and thus, live lives which seek first the kingdom of God. This is found in Christ Jesus and in obeying His commands – in knowing Him, and crying out for justice.
    • [Matthew 6:10] – “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”
    • [Matthew 6:33] – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (ie. Everything that God knows we need on this earth)  
    • [Isaiah 61:1-2] – “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has appointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Mr to heal the broken hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God.”

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In each one of these words, God has hidden a vast treasure to be discovered as we meditate on His word and seek earnestly for knowledge, understanding and wisdom. As I pondered the meaning of these four words – grace, mercy, love and peace – I realised that they are all tied together by one thing. God’s grace, mercy, love and peace are all expressed in Christ Jesus and the promises fulfilled by Him.

  • [Ephesians 2:4-7] – “But God, who is rich in MERCY, because of His great LOVE with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive in Christ (by GRACE you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (PEACE from identity in Christ), that in the ages to come (when his PEACE comes) He might show the exceeding riches of His GRACE in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

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