Mercy, Grace and Patience

dance

I’ve been reading my way a little bit each day through a Systematic Theology, which I may talk about in another blog post soon. But at the moment, I’ve been tackling the characteristics, or attributes of God.

Many of these three attributes of God overlap significantly. They’re not fighting against each other, neither are they any lesser because of any other attribute. They’re like a dance group in sync with each other. They benefit each other and even explain and clarify each other.

For example,¬†God is both a God of love and a God of justice. Because he loves perfectly, it is only right that he judge and punish sin, which then lines up with his justice. And he satisfies his love and justice in his Son’s death and so is able to bring forgiveness to us.

In the Systematic Theology I’m reading, Wayne Grudem explains how three attributes that significantly overlap can be separately defined by the object of their operation. Here’s what he says:

God’s Mercy means God’s goodness toward those in misery and distress.

God’s Grace means God’s goodness toward those who deserve only punishment.

God’s Patience means God’s goodness in withholding punishment toward those who sin over a period of time.

Isn’t that brilliant. Isn’t God brilliant. Let those thoughts mull over in your mind and cause you to delight in him!