07 July 2008

'Captured by Grace'
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Well, didn't manage to find "Prince Charming" today after all (running theme in my life these days...) BUT Lifeway did have the other book I was on a hunt for and I was much happier finding it anyway.
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I try to catch David Jeremiah on Sunday mornings, while I get ready for church. And, it was funny... while in Illinois, I got up that Sunday morning, in the hotel and not knowing what their tv broadcast schedule was like, I flipped on TBN just to see who or what was on while I started stirring. And I was so excited to see that I just happened to catch the beginning of Dr. Jeremiah's "Captured by Grace" series. And it was really quite a program. Not the usual Sunday sermon, but more of a special, with guest speakers and singers (Charles Billingsley...). It was really good.
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And what it is (if you've not seen it before) is a message based on the hymn "Amazing Grace" and it's author John Newton. And ultimately, a message on God's amazing grace, that is free for all who believe, to claim.
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Yesterday, they aired the first sermon of this series and I wish now that I had recorded it. It was just such a great lesson. So, I found the book today and really wanted to share the part that struck me the most...
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We often use the words as if they are synonyms - one and the same. In fact, there are passages in the New Testament that make that appear to be so. A few scholars have put forward the neat and simple proposition that the Old Testament uses mercy while the New Testament speaks of grace.
The truth is more elusive, like the words themselves. Think of it this way: Mercy is God withholding the punishment we rightfully deserve. Grace is God not only withholding that punishment but offering the most precious gift instead.

Mercy withholds the knife from the heart of Isaac.
Grace provides a ram in the thicket.
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Mercy runs to forgive the Prodigal Son.
Grace throws a party with every extravagance.
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Mercy bandages the wounds of the man beaten by the robbers.
Grace covers the cost of his full recovery.
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Mercy hears the cry of the thief on the cross.
Grace promises paradise that very day.
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Mercy pays the penalty for our sin at the cross.
Grace substitutes the righteousness of Christ for our wickedness.
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Mercy converts Paul on the road to Damascus.
Grace calls him to be an apostle.
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Mercy saves John Newton from a life of rebellion and sin.
Grace makes him a pastor and author of a timeless hymn.
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Mercy closes the door to hell.
Grace opens the door to heaven.
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Mercy withholds what we have earned.
Grace provides blessings we have not earned.
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*I also picked up the movie "Amazing Grace" about John Newton the other day and if I could only remember I have it... (A.A.A.D.D. - ask Dianne) I intend on watching that for even more appreciation and greater understanding!

3 comments:

Chris Q said...

Wow. Very astute. You'll see I took a cue from you and put a playlist on my blog. My readership will go crazy! :-)

Patsy Clairmont said...

Thank you for your sweet note! It is good to be back.

Make sure you take time for the Amazing Grace video...it's worth your time.

Thank you for sharing the mercy and grace comparisons...they were touching.

Judy Staples said...

Your blog is excellent! What a wonderful comparison on Grace and Mercy. I would like to read the book and watch the video when you finish. That was very sweet of Patsy to respond. Love you!