MERCY is in OT 208 and in NT 53 – compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
GRACE is in OT 37 and in NT 122 – the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
Grace (free and unmerited favor) on the other hand is complete forgiveness.
The Grace God gives to Believers is because He has Mercy (Romans 9:15 …, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.), and it is given as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.).
Mercy is found in the Bible 261 times:
Old Testament (208) Genesis (4) Exodus (20) Leviticus (4) Numbers (3) Deuteronomy (5)
Judges (1) 2 Samuel (3) 1 Kings (2) 1 Chronicles (4) 2 Chronicles (6) Ezra (3) Nehemiah (4) Job (1) Psalm (99) Proverbs (8) Isaiah (12) Jeremiah (9) Ezekiel (1) Daniel (2) Hosea (9) Jonah (1)
Micah (3) Habakkuk (1) and Zechariah (3)
New Testament (53) Matthew (9) Mark (2) Luke (10) Romans (9) 1 Corinthians (1) 2 Corinthians (1) Galatians (1) Ephesians (1) Philippians (1) 1 Timothy (3) 2 Timothy (3) Titus (2) Hebrews (2)
James (3) 1 Peter (2) 2 John (1) and Jude (2)
22 times in the OT it speaks of the MERCY SEAT. But most of the time it is God showing Mercy upon His people Israel or on a particular person (i.e. Joseph, David, Solomon) (see MERCY for references).
In the Gospels many times it Jewish people crying unto the Lord Jesus for Mercy for themselves or a loved one. (i.e. Luke 18:38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.).
The Apostle Paul writes (and cites the OT) about God’s Mercy. He uses it many time is Greetings and Salutations to the Churches. Once he ties Mercy to salvation (Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost).
James and Peter also write to Jewish Believers and speak of God’s Mercy. And James warns “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment”. (James 2:13)
John and Jude use Mercy in a greeting with Jude also using it in closing (Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.)
Grace is found in the Bible 159 times:
Old Testament (37) Genesis (11) Exodus (5) Numbers (1) Judges (1) Ruth (2) 1 Samuel (3)
2 Samuel (2) Ezra (1) Esther (1) Psalm (2) Proverbs (5) Jeremiah (1) Zechariah (2)
New Testament (122) Luke (1) John (3) Acts (10) Romans (20) 1 Corinthians (6) 2 Corinthians (13) Galatians (7) Ephesians (12) Philippians (3) Colossians (5) 1 Thessalonians (2) 2 Thessalonians (4) 1 Timothy (3) 2 Timothy (4) Titus (4) Philemon (2) Hebrews (7) James (2) 1 Peter (8) 2 Peter (2) 2 John (1) Jude (1) Revelation (2)
Most reference in the OT refer to found (or find) grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Beginning with Noah, Abraham, jacob, Joseph, moses, israel etc.
In the NT (Gospels) Grace was bestowed on the Lord Jesus. And in Acts Grace came by Jesus Christ and of God.
The Apostle Paul uses Grace in all of his epistles in his opening greetings and most of his salutations. And he writes that Grace comes from God (the Lord Jesus Christ) and that it is a gift, not to be earned.
In Romans he explains Law verses Grace. Romans 6:15 “… because we are not under the law, but under grace? ….”. (see GRACE for all the references)
To the Corinthians he says he is what he is only by the Grace of God.
And to Galatian believers he warns them about mixing Grace with the Law (2:21, 5:4)
And to Ephesus he wrote “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (2:8).
He writes to the Philippians that “they are partakers of my Grace”.
He advises the Colossians to “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt”.
He writes of Grace to Thessalonians and to Timothy.
To Titus he writes ”For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” and “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Even in a very personal letter to Philemon he speaks of God’s Grace.
Among other things he tells the believing Hebrews “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”.
Yes, the Apostle Paul Has much to say and teach us about the Grace of God.
James, half brother of the Lord Jesus writes “ But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
Peter also writes “… for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
And admonishes “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
Jude, another half brother of the Lord Jesus warns “ For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”.
John writes to the seven Jewish Churches “ Grace be unto you, and peace,…”. And closes with the salutation “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”.
As the Scripture is searched and compared it can be concluded that there is a difference between Mercy and Grace.
Mercy (compassion or forgiveness) can be shown toward an individual and the individual can still be punished or harmed with no eternal salvation.
Grace (free and unmerited favor) on the other hand is complete forgiveness and will give eternal life IF you believe it.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.