God’s Mercy, Grace and Sovereignty
(week 04/05)
Olubi Johnson

Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV: 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. 16 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.

Here, we are told that we need both mercy and grace in the time of need or temptation.

What then is the difference between mercy and grace and why do we need both?

Mercy is the compassion of God that causes Him to give us His life from the outside or the air into our souls, bodies and circumstances to deliver us from evil and enable us to be faithful.

Jude 21 NKJV: keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Lamentation 3:22 NKJV: Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.

1 Corinthians 7:25 KJV: I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

Grace is the unmerited favour of God, which comes through Jesus Christ, which causes Him to give us His life from the inside, through the born-again human spirit, into our souls, bodies and circumstances, to enable us do the will of God.

Psalms 30:5 KJV: in his favour is life:

John 1:16-18 NKJV: For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:10 NKJV: But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

So the difference between mercy and grace is that mercy causes us to receive life from God from the outside to preserve us from destruction and enable us to be faithful; while grace causes us to receive life from the inside through Jesus Christ to enable us do God’s will or labour diligently in the spirit.

So God can show mercy to any body irrespective of their spiritual condition: born-again or not, but can only give grace to those who are in Christ Jesus.

So the whole earth is full of the mercy of God:

Psalms 145:9 KJV: The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

God releases His mercy into the earth by His sovereignty: God has been doing this since the Garden of Eden, is doing this and will continue to do this until the end of the age.

God’s sovereignty is exercised when God releases His life and power into the earth without a man asking Him to do so.

However, God’s sovereignty has to be paid for legally by the corporate anointing generated by the intercession in the spirit of born-again, tongue talking Christians who are walking in the unity of love in this dispensation of grace:

Ephesians 3:20 NKJV:  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

Romans 8:26 NKJV: Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Acts 2:4 NKJV: And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

This is because God has given the earth legally to man until the end of this age.

Psalms 115:16 KJV: The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men

Genesis 1:26 NKJV: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” NKJV

Now, the grace of God makes life available for us to be able to pray diligently in the spirit: with tongues and groanings or travail.

So the grace of God, through intercession makes life available, legally, for God to use to show mercy to men at His discretion in the earth.

As born-again Christians we need both the grace and mercy of God: grace to labour, pray and walk diligently in the spirit. Mercy to preserve us and enable us to be faithful when we fail or are weak because of the weaknesses in our souls and bodies.

Even the Lord Jesus was enabled to be faithful by mercy of God ministered to Him by angel as He prayed more earnestly in the garden of Gethsemane:

Luke 22:40-44 NKJV: And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.

That is why Paul says we should come confidently to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need or weakness or temptation (Heb. 4.15-16).

For those who are not Christians the mercy is given to them by God in His sovereignty.

Now, there are factors that cause the measure of His grace and mercy in our lives to increase or decrease.

In our article next week, we will see how to increase the measure of God’s grace and mercy in the lives of men.