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What is Mercy?

QUESTION: What is Mercy?


What is mercy? There are several Hebrew words that are associated with God's mercy:
    Kapporeth – means "ransom," "propitiatory," or "the mercy seat."

    Racham – means "to love," "to have compassion," or "to show mercy."

    Chesed – means "goodness," "kindness," "mercifulness," or "loving-kindness."1
These Greek words are associated with mercy in the New Testament:
    Eleemon – means "to show mercy," "to pity," "to have compassion," or "to be merciful."

    Oiktirmos – carries the concept of "compassion" or "pity." 1
What is Mercy – A Theologians Description
What is mercy? Theologians have described mercy this way:

"God's mercy is his tenderhearted, loving compassion for his people. It is his tenderness of heart toward the needy. If grace contemplates humans as sinful, guilty, and condemned, mercy sees them as miserable and needy." – Millard Erickson2

"This is the first work of God—that He is merciful to all who are ready to do without their own opinion, right, wisdom, and all spiritual goods, and willing to be poor in spirit." – Martin Luther3

"God is pleased to show mercy to his enemies, according to his own sovereign pleasure. Though he is infinitely above all, and stands in no need of creatures; yet he is graciously pleased to take a merciful notice of poor worms in the dust." – Jonathan Edwards4

"Mercy is kindness exercised toward the miserable, and includes pity, compassion, forbearance, and gentleness, which the Scriptures so abundantly ascribe to God." – Charles Hodge5

1 Greek and Hebrew word definitions come from Systematic Theology by Geisler, Dr. Norman, 385.
2 Erickson, Millard. Christian Theology. 322.
3 Luther, Martin. What Luther Says.3.176.
4 Edwards, Jonathan. The Works of Jonathan Edwards. 2.110
5 Hodge, Charles. Systematic Theology. 471.

God of Mercy - Learn More!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus

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