Friday, July 26, 2013


Heb. 12:15

Morning Meditation 7/26/2013

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God . . .” I would like to concentrate in this on these words. This warning and exhortation is generic in the sense that it applies not only to the context of Hebrews but also to the whole of the Christian life.

What it is not? It is not a warning against the loss of salvation. No man who is saved is on shaky ground as to his destiny. God makes sure and immutable promises to the believer in Christ.

John 5:24 says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” This verse is simple and clear. One has to go around by Charlie’s, and a dozen others to avoid what this verse says. I am not promoting what Baptist believe. I am giving a verse that addressed to believers and explaining to them what they can count on from the Lord because they have believed. Why would the Lord say, “Verily, verily?” to introduce this statement. He would say it because it is going to introduce a truth that will be difficult for the natural man. Man believes in works for salvation by nature. He is self centered, egotistical and in love with himself. He believes he can diligently apply himself and measure up to God’s demands and be saved by what he does. The man addressed in this verse is not the worker but the believer.

The words “ . . . He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life . . . ” mean in no uncertain terms that the believer is in present possession of everlasting life. The words “hath everlasting life” (echo) are the translation of a word that means “to hold in the hand” and is a present active indicative verb. It means he has everlasting life right now in the present tense of his life. The words “and shall not come into condemnation” address the future of the man who has in the present tense of his life “everlasting life.” The word “condemnation” (krisis) means, “sentence of condemnation, damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment.” The word “come” is a present middle indicative verb. This means he is delivered in the present tense from future judgment. The words “but is passed from death unto life” translated metabaino and means “to pass over from one place to another.” It is a perfect tense verb which speaks of completed action in the past with the result that it is still true. The believer, at a point of time in the past (when he was saved), passed from death to life, and this remains true in his present experience with the promise that his will never change and that he will never be brought into judgment. So our text in Hebrews is not speaking of the loss of salvation.

What it is? What he is warning against is a possibility. The word “fail” (hustereo) means “fail to become a partaker, fall back from.” Is it possible to fall back from the grace of God? Absolutely. This is why the book of Galatians was written. There were false teachers that were trying to pervert (Gal. 1:7) the teaching of grace with the Law of Moses. This would be mixing works with grace which effectively nullifies grace as a means of salvation. Paul is plain in his teaching that salvation either has to be all of grace or all of works (Rom. 11:6). He is not talking about saving grace but serving grace. Paul writes to the Galatians, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:1-3). He is saying that we are not saved by grace and perfected (brought to maturity) by law (works). Paul teaches that Christ (grace) ceases to be effective in the life of a Christian who makes the mistake of accepting works as a means of maturity and in effect “falls from grace.” This is what is being warned against with the words “Lest any man fail of the grace of God.”

Next this is a human failure. The words “lest any man fail of the grace of God” bring this out. The words “any man” (tis) is the translation of the indefinite pronoun which means “any certain one” referring to man or woman. Grace is able to make us stand against all opposition and all odds. God not only saves us through grace but it is the means of our development. We are to walk by faith. If we do not and fail in our service, it is not a “grace failure” but a personal and human failure.

Next there is a reason for diligence. The words “Looking diligently” (episkopeo) mean “ to look upon, inspect, oversee, look after, care for.” It is a present active participle. The present tense means that he is to continue to do this in the present tense of his life. The active voice means that he is responsible. Every believer has a responsibility to know what grace is and be able to define grace as a means of salvation and service. Peter brings this out in 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” There are three enemies of the Christian life, i.e., the world, the flesh and the devil. They wage a relentless war against us as Christians. Walking under the direction of grace is not natural. Therefore, there has to be much diligence exercised in the Christian’s walk or he will “fail of the grace of God.”

Last, lets notice the grace that will prevent failure. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Say for instance, that Satan attacks you in some area of you life. And say for instance, you have been a sincere Christian and faithful to the Lord for years. Then this severe trial confronts you. Your immediate thoughts are, “I have been living for the Lord for years. I do not deserve this treatment. Why is God letting this happen to me?” And so you think because of your faithfulness that you have earned merit and this should give victory through this trial. You will “fail of the grace of God.” Satan cannot be resisted on the grounds of merit. This is not a “grace failure” it is a human failure. It is a faith failure because you are not applying “the grace of God” to this situation.

The Hebrew Christians were going back to the Temple to worship and forsaking the assembling (Heb. 10:25) to avoid persecution (Heb. 12:4). A grace position cannot be maintained when mixed with the works of the law. This is a constant battle for us as Christians today even though we are not going back under Moses Law. We make laws for ourselves. The Church sets up rules and has the same effect of law. So we wind up with the feeling of “self importance” which only happens to those on a merit system. May all of us stay DOWN where grace will deliver and carry us through.

God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

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