Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.
Mercy (Middle English, from Anglo-French merci, from Medieval Latin merced-, merces, from Latin, “price paid, wages”, from merc-, merxi “merchandise”) is a broad term that refers to benevolence, forgiveness and kindness in a variety of ethical, religious, social and legal contexts.
The concept of a “Merciful God” appears in various religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Performing acts of mercy as a component of religious beliefs is also emphasized through actions such as the giving of alms, and care for the sick and Works of Mercy.
In the social and legal context, mercy may refer both to compassionate behavior on the part of those in power (e.g. mercy shown by a judge toward a convict), or on the part of a humanitarian third party, e.g., a mission of mercy aiming to treat war victims.
Without the victory of the resurrection, the death of Jesus would have been in vain. For death by itself is no victory, no matter how well-meaning the sacrificial lamb, no matter how noble the cause. Through His resurrection, Christ broke the power of death once and for all time. Salvation was not completed only because of the cross. It was completed by the victory of the empty tomb. – Katherine Walden
Redemption Defined: To be set free from captivity or slavery.
In Old Testament times, it was required that sacrifices be made to cover the penalty of sin. This temporary redemption involved offering food and animal sacrifices as a substitution for the sin of the people in the tabernacle. The Jewish people were waiting for the promised Messiah who would provide one final blood sacrifice for all sins. The animal sacrifices covered sins temporarily, but the Messiah would take away sin permanently.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins. (Psalms 130:7) (NIV)
And in Jesus, the promise of the Messiah was fulfilled. His substitution for our sins has redeemed us – set us free from sin.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9) (NAS)
“The central theme of redemption in Scripture is that God has taken the initiative to act compassionately on behalf of those who are powerless to help themselves. The New Testament makes clear that divine redemption includes God’s identification with humanity in its plight, and the securing of liberation of humankind through the obedience, suffering, death, and resurrection of the incarnate Son.” (Excerpted from Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)
Salvation Defined: Biblically, salvation refers to the act of being saved from the eternal consequences of sin.
Did you know that the name “Jesus” in Hebrew means “salvation?”
… And you are to give him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) (NIV)
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) (NIV)
Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Through the redemption provided by His death and resurrection, Jesus gave each of us a way to be cleansed of our sins, offering us the chance to spend eternity with Him in heaven. All we have to do is take Him up on the offer.
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24) (NIV)
Salvation and redemption are tremendously important concepts in Christianity. We are free from the penalty of sin, because Jesus Christ paid the price in our stead.