Pursue peace with all men
And the sanctification without which no one will see The LORD
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of GOD
That no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble
And by it many be defiled
In the opening Scriptures, we are commanded to pursue peace with all men (Psa 34:14, Rom 14:19), sanctification or holiness (2 Cor 7:1, 1 Pet 1:13-16), to be diligent to live according to HIS WORD so we do not fall short of HIS grace (Psa 119:101, Jer 14:10-12), and keep watch over our hearts so that no root of bitterness springs up (Pro 4:23, Deu 29:14-18).
In this BIBLE study we are going to examine how unforgiveness keeps us from peace with all men. And how that unforgiveness can cause us to fall short of GOD’s grace.
In Hebrews 12:14, we are called to “pursue” peace. The English word “pursue” has been transliterated from the Greek word “diookoo” (NT:1377), and it means to:
• earnestly seek after
• to endeavor to acquire
• to strive for
• to devote oneself to
So if you are not doing all that you possible can, at all times, to ensure peace between yourselves and all others, then you are not in obedience.
How can one possibly keep this commandment? Before you reject this teaching as impossible to do, remember, HIS commandments are not burdensome (1 Jhn 5:3, Mat 11:29-30). If you are joined in faith to JESUS CHRIST, then it is by HIS strength (Php 4:13, 2 Cor 12:9) you will keep HIS commandments (Jhn 15:4-5, Psa 55:22, Psa 68:19-20, Isa 46:4). Our Beloved GOD has given us the power, HIS Holy SPIRIT, to obey HIS Will (Zec 4:6, Isa 40:29, Isa 41:10, Eph 3:16). All you have to do is ask HIM for help (Psa 34:15, Psa 42:5, Psa 46:1, Psa 121:1-8).
What does “peace with all men” mean? It means to live in unity or harmony with fellow Christians (Psa 133:1-3) and to live in love towards all others (Col 3:14, 1 Pet 4:8, Mat 5:44).
How can you love those who refuse to love you? Through forgiveness (Pro 19:11, Mrk 11:25-26, Eph 4:32, Col 3:13), through compassion (Exd 23:4-5, 2 Chr 28:8-15, Pro 24:17-18, Pro 25:21-22, Rom 12:20-21), and through prayer (Luk 6:28). We have examples of men who prayed for those who mistreated them:
• Moses prayed for Miriam who led her brother Aaron in slandering Moses (Num 12:1-16)
• Samuel the prophet who prayed for the nation of Israel though he felt rejected by them (1 Sam 8:1-9, 1 Sam 12:23)
• Job prayed for this three friends who continually tortured him through their counseling and attitudes about the reasons for his suffering (Job 19:1-22, Job 42:7-9)
• Our Beloved JESUS CHRIST prayed for those who were crucifying HIM (Luk 23:32-34, Isa 53:12)
• Stephen prayed for those who were stoning him to death (Acts 7:51-60)
How can you be at peace with someone who refuses to be at peace with you? If you re-read Hebrews 12:14, you will see that HE commanded us to “pursue peace” not “be at peace”. That means walking in love regardless of others behavior. Our Beloved LORD JESUS knows there will be times, when though we are for peace, there will be those who will look for war (Psa 120:5-7, Psa 109:4-5). It is as those times we must not engage with our enemies hostilities (Luk 6:29-36, 1 Pet 2:21-23), do what is right in GOD’s sight (Exd 23:4-5, Rom 12:17-21, Pro 24:17-18), and continue to entrust yourself to our Beloved LORD GOD (1 Sam 24:1-22, 1 Pet 4:19).
How can unforgiveness cause us “come short of the grace of GOD”? To fully understand this, we must first understand:
• what is “the grace of GOD”
• how can we come short of it
• and how do we “see to” following the command
What is the grace of GOD? The grace of GOD has been defined as the unmerited or undeserving favor of GOD given to all who deserve to receive HIS worst. This definition is accurate, but HIS grace is so much more! We will examines Scriptures throughout HIS Holy WORD to understand.
The grace of GOD is:
• One of HIS many attributes, qualities, or characteristics (Exd 34:6-7, Neh 9:17, Psa 86:15, Psa 103:8-10, Jam 5:11). Because HE is merciful (Luk 6:36), HE will extend mercy (1 Pet 1:3, Luk 18:35-43). Because HE is gracious (Psa 116:5), HE will extend grace (Eph 2:8, Rom 5:8). Because HE is forgiving (Psa 78:38-39), HE will extend forgiveness (Psa 130:3-4, 1 Jhn 1:9). And because HE is gracious, merciful and forgiving, HE will extend compassion, mercy, lovingkindness, forgives and grace to those who do not deserve it and cannot earn it (Ezr 9:5-15, Rom 5:8, Eph 2:8-10). As demonstrated in Proverbs 12:10, one cannot give what they do not have.
• Our dearly beloved JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF (Jhn 1:14-17, Tit 2:11-14, Tit 3:4-7). WHO, although HE was GOD, HE became a man (Jhn 1:1, Jhn 1:14, Php 2:5-8), and offered HIS sinless body as the payment for our sins (Mat 1:21-23, Heb 10:4-10, Isa 43:11, Psa 98:1-3). Our Precious JESUS CHRIST is the visual image of our GOD’s grace (Jhn 3:16, 1 Cor 1:4, Eph 2:4-8)!
• HIS Holy SPIRIT (Heb 10:29, Zec 12:10). HIS Holy SPIRIT, is the grace sufficient for us (2 Cor 12:9); HE is The Power (Luk 24:49, Act 1:8, 2 Tim 1:7) that perfects us in our weaknesses. HE completes what our weakness lack (Eph 3:16, Col 1:11); through HIM there is not one trial, test or challenge we cannot face (Php 4:13, 2 Tim 4:17, 1 Pet 5:7-11).
• HIS gifts HE freely bestows on us through HIS Holy SPIRIT (Rom 15:15-16, 1 Cor 12:4-11, Eph 3:8-9)
• Expressed by HIS favor, which is HIS approval (Luk 2:40, Luk 2:52), HIS acceptance (Gen 6:5-9, Luk 1:26-33), HIS support (Exd 33:12-18, 2 Tim 4:16-18, 1 Pet 2:19-20) and HIS friendship (Jam 2:21-23, 2 Chr 20:5-17)
• Expressed by HIS kindness (Psa 145:17), which is HIS tenderheartedness (Gen 3:21-24, Eze 16:1-6, Joe 2:18, Rom 5:8), our Precious JESUS CHRIST (Tit 3:4-5, 1 Pet 2:3)
• Expressed by HIS continual faithfulness (Deu 7:9, Deu 32:4, Psa 36:5, Psa 119:90, 1 Ths 5:24, 2 Tim 2:13)
How can we come short of it? We fall short of the GOD’s grace when we do not extend the grace HE gives us, to others (2 Sam 22:26-28, Pro 11:17, Mat 5:7). This point is first made concerning forgiveness, by our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST as HE teaches us to pray (Mat 6:14-15) and then demonstrated in detail in Matthew 18:21-35.
How do we “see to it” that we do not coming short of the grace of GOD as mentioned in Hebrews 12:15? First to “see to it” means to “make sure”, “be careful”, or “make certain”. Second through love (Pro 10:12, 1 Pet 1:22, 1 Pet 4:8-9) and that love is the same level that you love yourself (Mat 22:39, Luk 10:25-37).
For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees
You will not enter the kingdom of heaven