Having my heart established with grace is a goal in which I am making progress daily, looking to ensure that my heart is stabilized only in and by grace, the enabling power of God. I am no longer content to live unsettled and uneasy, nor in smug self-confidence; perfect peace in God is my daily objective.
Yet even as I grow here, a related command in Hebrews intrigues me: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (He 12:15-6)
What does it mean to establish grace in community? How does this form, and how does it relate to the foundation of the church? Am I to discern if another is failing in the enabling power of God? And if I do, what is a godly response? What is a root of bitterness? And help me understand … profane person. And how are these symptomatic of failing of grace? What is God calling us to here? How do we go about it?
2 thoughts on “Lest Any Man Fail”
My initial thoughts on this are in an article, The Greater Sin, in which I attempt to explain how God evaluates sin and how He calls believers to respond to different kinds of sin.
The following is a comment in By Grace.
The Greek for “fail” here is “hustereo,” which means “to lack, be deficient.” It is translated “destitute” (He 11:37), “come short” (He 4:1), “suffer need” (Php 4:12), “lack,” (1Co 12:24), etc.
I think the way to understand this text is that we can be deficient in grace, not that we can have grace and fail it. We should be continually seeking the grace of God (He 4:16), His enabling power; we should never be lax here.
Esau was a “profane person,” one who did not value spiritual things; he was deficient in grace. He “despised his birthright,” (Ge 25:34) the privilege of being the spiritual head of his family, but he deeply valued the physical blessing that went with it. He lost them both.
When we sense a “profane” way in ourselves or others, a spiritual deadness of any kind, we should be prayerfully concerned, asking God to quicken us/them, give us/them grace so that we/they will be aligned with Him and close to Him. (Ps 119:25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, 154)