What is the difference between grace and mercy? When does the need for grace apply and when does the need for mercy apply?
Grace -The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor, disposition to serve or benefit another, favor bestowed or privilege conferred.
Mercy- Forbearance to inflict harm under circumstances of provocation, when one has the power to inflict it, compassionate treatment of an offender or adversary, clemency.
Under these definitions, grace addresses the favor and privilege provided to anyone, all of humanity, no matter the cause of the transgression. Humanity is born into this world in sin. That sin is imputed to everyone because of the sin of Adam. Nothing has to be done to inherit sin. Birth to the pIanet carries the pronouncement and inheritance of sin because of Adam.
Mercy appears to imply clemency for a particular transgression(s) or a specific act by an individual. Mercy applies to an offender or an adversary, one who of his own volition or his own free will has chosen to transgress or sin. It could pertain to imputed sin, but clemency seems to suggest otherwise.
"Foreigners will come to rebuild your cities, Kings and Rulers will send you aid. For though I have destroyed you in my anger, I will have mercy on you through my grace." Isaiah 60:10 (NLT)
Favor "bestowed or conferred" indicates you receive an honor, a right or a gift. It indicates the fault/need is the responsibility of the action of another. To attribute to a particular cause or action. You receive this or it is conferred to you because of the act/action of another. Our part is to believe in our spirits and our minds and to receive faith for this truth. We then must declare it with our mouths and accept or receive this grace.
"For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead/ you will be saved." Romans 10:9 (NLT)
"The sin of this one man/ Adam, caused death to rule over us/ but all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ." Romans 5:17 (NLT)
Clemency is the grant by the ruling authority, King, President, and/or Governor of a ruling territory, nation or state of an amnesty, pardon or reprieve or of a commutation of a criminal sentence. Commutation is the substitution of one kind of payment for another.
Grace deals with our imputed sins, those inherited from Adam. This is a completed work. The provision of Christ on the cross. Mercy is provided through grace for the behavioral transgressions we commit. These decisions are where we make the willful choices to perform or to do disobedient acts of rebellion. When we do so, we fail to honor or to recognize the imputed grace of God Himself as Jesus Christ on the cross.
"But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong." 1 John 1:9 (NLT)
The Dynamic of Grace is the provision whereby God provided a way for us to be free from the sin that all of humanity inherited from Adam. This is what all of humanity has longed for and is searching so diligently to find. We no longer have to be burdened by the heavy load Adam placed on us by his rebellion and disobedience. Through faith, if we believe in our spirits and in our minds that Jesus is Lord, and that God raised Him from the dead and we boldly confess that with our mouths, we will be saved. Our spirits become new, and we begin the process of renewing our minds by His Words. Grace is bestowed upon us and conferred unto us. We are Citizens of the everlasting, eternal, all powerful Kingdom of our God. We are a royal priesthood and a holy nation unto our God. We enter into a governmental system that controls everything in heaven and on the Eart h. No longer are we subject to the whims, the actions or the threats of the defeated Satan. No longer can he terrorize us. We are Citizens. We tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the defeated Satan. Greater is He that is living in and working through us than he that is in this world. We are more than conquerors. In every situation we are made to triumph and prosper in Christ Jesus. Praises be to our God for such a marvelous plan, a powerful purpose and the complete provision.