The first sentence is fine as a statement that you are thanking God. It’s short for “I thank God for his grace and mercy…” It’s not a prayer only because you are not actually addressing God, but it could be part of a conversation, discussion, testimonial in church, etc.
The second sentence doesn’t work quite right. If you are literally saying “Thanks” to God, as in you are offering a prayer to God and are speaking to him/her, then you will want to to say “Thanks, God, for your grace and mercy…”
If you want more formality, as in “Thanks be to God for …” that’s fine, but what you have is also fine, with the small changes.
answered Mar 2 ’12 at 2:53
is the correct way of expressing gratitute to God. It’s one of the rare cases of legitimate use of the Subjunctive Mood.
‘Thanks God’ is possible in the Indicative Mood (3rd person)
My sister thanks God every day for .
When your friend Jim does you a favor, you can thank him:
The same way it’s technically possible to say:
as an informal way of saying ‘thank you’ to God, as though you were speaking with him/her in person. Note the use of the comma.
answered Mar 1 ’12 at 21:12
If you’re looking for something leaning toward the formal, I suggest praise be to God for .
answered Mar 1 ’12 at 22:22
If you actually mean to thank a deity, then “Thanks be to God” is more appropriate than your other suggestions.
“Thank God …” is basically used to mean “I’m glad that…”, “It’s a good job that…”. It isn’t usually used when the intention is to actually thank a deity.
To me, “Thanks, God!” would if used at all be a fairly informal, sarcastic way of expressing displeasure rather than pleasure at something. I suppose it could be a very informal way of actually thanking a deity as well… but I don’t think you’ll readily hear it in a place of worship.
answered Mar 2 ’12 at 0:15
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The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 145:8)
What exactly is the difference between grace and mercy?
And why does it even matter? Can’t we just use them interchangeably?
Nope. If we do, we miss out on some glorious truths.
God’s mercy and God’s grace are not the same things, though the differences are subtle, and they are often mentioned together.
In many ways they overlap; usually when God pours out his mercy, he pours out his grace as well.
Let’s dive into this a bit deeper.
Table of contents
The Difference Between Grace and Mercy
Before we explore the glorious difference between grace and mercy, we need to see how they’re similar.
Neither are deserved. God has compassion on sinners who deserve his wrath.
Why? I don’t know.
And he is gracious as well to those who don’t love him and never thank him. But God pours out his mercy and grace especially on those he saves through Jesus.
The simplest way to understand the difference between grace and mercy is that they are flip sides of the coin of his love.
In other words, God’s mercy is NOT giving sinners what they DO DESERVE.
And God’s grace is POSITIVELY GIVING sinners what they DO NOT DESERVE.
The Glory Of God’s Mercy
The Hebrew for “merciful” means “compassionate” or “full of compassion.” It means “to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow”
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)
This is mercy: We have all sinned against a holy God. We deserve eternal wrath in hell. But in his mercy, God poured out on Jesus the wrath we deserved on the cross, so we could escape his wrath.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)
…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
For reasons known only to God, though we had spit in his face, broken his laws, rejected him and disobeyed him, he had compassion on us.
God doesn’t take any pleasure in punishing people, even those who reject him and hate him outright. So in his mercy, he didn’t give us what we deserved, eternal punishment, his infinite wrath. Instead, in his mercy, he poured his wrath out on his beloved Son.
Jesus didn’t have to die for us. He didn’t have to pay for our sins. But our God is compassionate and merciful. So he didn’t give us what we deserved. He gave it to Jesus.
If this were all he had done, it would have been incredible. If God simply spared us from hell that would have been infinite mercy.
Even if he did nothing else for us. Even if we were to die then cease to exist. Even if we were to never go to heaven or know him.
It still would have been infinite mercy to us, to NOT give us what we DID DESERVE.
The difference between grace and mercy is that mercy is not getting what we deserve.
The Beauty of God’s Grace
But not only is God infinitely merciful, he is infinitely gracious. In his grace he not only withheld his wrath, but he positively saved us:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God… (Ephesians 2:8)
The Greek for “grace”, “charis” means: kindness, favor, “a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ”, or “kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved” (Strongs)
See the difference? In his mercy God withholds WHAT WE DO DESERVE; in his grace God heaps upon us infinite blessings WE DO NOT DESERVE. In mercy he withholds what we DID MERIT – eternal wrath; and in grace pours out upon us what we COULD NEVER MERIT: Eternal life, infinite joy, being one with Christ, being made like Christ.
Grace is God’s free gift of his undeserved, unmerited favor.
God’s grace is, “…the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues” (Strongs).
When we believe in Jesus, because of his mercy God does NOT give us what we deserve:
His wrath, eternal punishment in hell
And when we believe in Jesus, because of His grace, God gives us what we don’t deserve. He…
Gives us eternal life
Adopts us as his children
Makes us joint-heirs with Christ, gives us infinite riches in Christ
Gives us his Holy Spirit
Gives us power and victory over sin
Lives in us
Conforms us to Christ
Causes all things to work together for our good
Hears our prayers
Gives us gifts of the Spirit
Produces fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, etc.
Gives us good works to walk in
He will never remove his love from us
And someday we will see his face
And the list goes on and on….
And God doesn’t begrudgingly pour out his grace. He longs to pour it out upon us. Isaiah 30: 18 says “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.”
God is lavish with his grace. He doesn’t just give us a little. He pours it out:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us… (Ephesians 1:7-8)
So what should our response be to God’s amazing mercy and lavish grace he has heaped upon us?
I don’t have room in this post, but a few ways we should respond:
- Wonder, amazement, praise and worship
- Living wholeheartedly for the one who saved us
- Imitating our God and being merciful and gracious to those who don’t deserve it
If you’ve never believed in Jesus, he offers you the free gift of his grace, because of all Jesus did.
He is the eternal God, yet became a man, lived a sinless life of perfect obedience to his Father, then bore our sins and God’s wrath on the cross.
Then he rose from the dead and ascended to heaven where he reigns as Lord of Lords.
And he promises that for all who believe in him and call upon him so save them he will have mercy on them, forgive their sins and give them eternal life and lavish his grace upon them.
He longs to lavish salvation on you. Don’t wait another day to believe in and call on him to save you!
The difference between grace and mercy is that grace is getting what we don’t deserve.
So What’s The Difference Between Grace and Mercy?
Both grace reveal the staggering, glorious, delightful character of God.
In his mind-boggling mercy, he doesn’t give us what we deserve. Rather, he gave that to Jesus.
In his outrageous, lavish grace, he gives us what we don’t deserve. He gives us the rewards earned by Jesus.
Is there anyone like our God?
Grace means to get something that you do not deserve; unmerited favor. Mercy means you do not get a punishment that you deserve; compassion, forbearance. God is abundant in grace and mercy and we can read about it in the Bible. His greatest act of grace is the gift of salvation that is available for all people through faith (Eph 2:8-9). When the gift is accepted, eternal life is promised to the recipient. This eternal life is a promise of a home one day in heaven with God. The promise to the believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that one day Jesus the Christ will return to earth to claim His purchased possession (Eph 1:12-14; 4:30). Jesus purchased every sinner with His own blood on the cross at Calvary.
You can read more about the grace of God and the Savior Jesus here. Following are twenty inspirational Bible verses about grace.
Esther 2:16-17 And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Jeremiah 31:2-3 Thus says the LORD:”The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Acts 15:39-40 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.
Acts 11:22-24 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
Acts 14:1-3 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
John 1:15-17 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Acts 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Romans 1:1-5 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled
1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Grace: A Gift Eternal
Romans 3:20-24 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
Romans 4:15-17 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”— in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:12-21 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Christian Quotes About Grace
“Do you find life too difficult for you? So did we, but not now, with the amplitudes of grace there are for us in Jesus Christ, it grows satisfying and successful and exciting beyond measure, becomes another and a richer thing.” ~ A. J. Gossip
“Just as the sinner’s despair of any hope from himself is the first prerequisite of a sound conversion, so the loss of all confidence in himself is the first essential in the believer’s growth in grace.” ~ A. W. Pink
“The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.” ~ A. W. Tozer
“Grace, then, is grace,–that is to say, it is sovereign, it is free, it is sure, it is unconditional, and it is everlasting.” ~ Alexander Whyte
“Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
Do you have a favorite Bible Verse of Quote about grace? Share it in the comments below. Also, if you liked this topic you might also find some of these other good Bible Verse articles helpful:
Bible Verses By Topic– Check out this list of different Bible topics with a set of verses for each topic.
25 Bible Verses About Love– What does the Bible say about love? Check out these great scriptures and quotes.
101 Proverbs About Money– An extensive list of great verses related to money.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
www.youtube.com Song “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” By Chris Tomlin
Photo “throne-of-god” photobucket.com
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