Thursday, January 19, 2012

Falling Short of the Grace of God

Hebrews 12:15 reads, "looking carefully (diligently, KJV) lest anyone fall short of the grace of God."  The Greek word for "looking diligently" is an interesting one:  episkopountes, from the word episkopos.  Skopos (English word "scope") means "to look"; the "epi" in front of it intesifies it--"looking diligently."  The only other place a form of this word is found is in I Peter 5:2 where elders are to have the "oversight" of the flock--in other words, to watch them carefully.  In Hebrews 12:15, the grammatical form of the verb is a present active participle, the present active indicating something we are always to be doing.

In other words, we are ever to be carefully, diligently watching out lest we fall short of God's grace.

And, as we noted in the previous post on I Peter 1:13, there is obviously something man must do--"look diligently."  Plus, the very idea of "falling short of God's grace" implies action on man's part, because how could we fall short of His grace if there was nothing we could do to obtain it?

One final note:  since the author of the book writes it to Christians, warning them about the possibility of falling short of God's grace, this would elminate any "once saved, always saved" concept from Christian teaching.  Why warn them about something if it could never happen?

The Bible never tells us that getting to heaven is easy, and it is simply because of God's love that He warns us of that fact!

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