Falling Short of the Grace of God – Is this possible?

On a recent Facebook post of mine someone commented:

You said "While legally Christ has dealt with our sin once and for all, Christians often do fall short of the grace of God"… If it is Grace, how does a lack of righteousness cause me to fall short of it? Only trusting my righteousness can do that.

Allow me to refer to the Scriptures:

Heb 12:14  Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
Heb 12:15  looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

According to the writer of Hebrews, it was possible for his readers – who were spirit-baptized Christians – to "fall short of the grace of God". If it were not possible, why would the writer instruct them to be "looking carefully" so that this did not happen?

We should never allow our traditional theological framework to effectively nullify the Word of God.

My Facebook Friend writes: If it is Grace, how does a lack of righteousness cause me to fall short of it? Only trusting my righteousness can do that.

Might I refer readers to context of this verse. To me it clear, that "a root of bitterness springing up" would cause people to fall short of the grace of God.

Why is that? Well bitterness implies resentment and unforgiveness of real or imagined offenses. Jesus said concerning unforgiving servants of God:

Mat 18:32  Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
Mat 18:33  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'
Mat 18:34  And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
Mat 18:35  "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."

So then, the effectual operation and receiving of the grace of God is CONDITIONAL upon certain heart attituides. One of them is FORGIVENESS.

If we believe that God will forgive us regardless of whether we forgive others, we fly in the face of the plain declarations of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures.

Even the Lord's Prayer says:

Mat 6:12  And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

There is no Scriptural ground for expecting to be forgiven by God when you yourself hold unforgiveness, resentment or bitterness of any kind, unless you let go of it.

Unforgiveness is a killer to all kinds of forms of the grace of God. It keeps God's grace away from your life. I have seen people who could not be healed, healed very quickly after they forgave those who hurt them.

So in answer to my Facebook Friend's question: Bitterness and unforgiveness are clear examples of things that will cause people to fall short of the grace of God.

The context of this verse  about looking carefully lest no one fall short of the grace of God says to "Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord". All men will one day "see the LORD" as judge, this is speaking of the kind of holiness required that one may see the Lord in His mercy.

If we view the pursuit of God as an optional extra for the Christian, we may as well say that God will accept unrepentant idolaters into the Kingdom of Heaven. This doesn't sound like Revelation 21:8

Rev 21:8  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

I should make it clear that there is a difference having the fear of the Lord which causes one to depart from evil, and trusting in one's own works for salvation. It is important not to confuse these issues. God requires the fear of the Lord, but this does not mean that God requires people to trust in their own righteousness. There is a big difference.

What do YOU think?


About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.


  1. Corey, in reply to your post, I think most Christians want a relationship with God, but there is often something ELSE that they want EVEN MORE.

    This is the idolatry which we must allow to be rooted out of our own lives by submitting ourselves to the cross and allowing God to work in us.

    • horns4plenty says:

      Again you make a excellent point as I am about to leave for work! I think most of us in our own minds do want a relationship with God. The breakdown seems to be with letting Jesus call the shots!

      In my own mind for many years in my walk with God. In my own life it was two fold. I wanted to be my own boss and was in willful rebellion to God, especially in the area of idolatry. and their was the demonic issue. Then I had Jesus reveal Himself in my bathroom one night audibly to answer me directly for my anger towards God and the pointed questions I was asking.

      He told me flat out that I hated Him. He had given up everything for me and I was not willing to give up anything for Him. That is when He began to point out all of the idolatry I so dearly loved and told me if I desired a relationship with Him, I had to get rid of all of it and seek Him. It was not until I took the step of faith and began to clean my house, while my flesh and the demonic strongholds was fighting me all the way, that my heart began to change. It was after my obedience by faith that a lot of my demonic strongholds where broken off of me and Jesus set me free.

      I talk to so many believers constantly who are in bondage to sin who want Jesus to change their heart first so then they will want to obey Him. Jesus does not operate that way. He says repent and obey first by turning away from your sin and He will change your hearts desires which you can not do. This is our act of faith.

      I have to get to work. God Bless and have a great day.

  2. horns4plenty says:

    I think the biggest issue I have seen is most believer's do not really want to have a personal relationship with God! That is why they go to church so the pastor can hear God for them and tell them what He said. Pastor tells them you can do this but don't do that, which in my opinion is about as works based as it gets. If you depend on your pastor to have a relationship with God for you; then it will always be grounded in works, and you will never Know Jesus. God forbid your pastor is deceived and is being led by the wrong spirit which he believes is the Holy Spirit, but for now I am not going to go there. I am currently working on a teaching called the salvation message of the Pharisees which I hope will shed some light on that subject for myself and hopefully others who are seeking to know Jesus intimately. Back to the main issue. When you put your faith and trust in a man to hear God for you what is the real issue? You love something else more than you love God. Church becomes a meaningless sacrifice of your time to Jesus, so you can get back to the things you really like to do such as your fleshly desires or lust. And your fleshly desires is what is really lord of your life. And because the pastors refuse to address serious issues such as coveting, greed, and idolatry often times the church becomes consumed by these issues. And when we disobey the very first commandment to have no other Gods before Me then, brothers and sisters, the church is going to be in serious trouble. Because already you are harlot or prostitute in God's eyes. If you think I am making this stuff up then brothers and sisters, I challenge everyone of you to read the book of Hosea. God raised up the prophet Hosea to proclaim to the Jewish people, or people of God that they where nothing but a bunch of whores and prostitutes because they had refused to obey God's moral law and deal with their idolatry. He told the people of God you have forgotten me. And God was basically divorcing the people of God annulling the original covenant of Abraham because of their wickedness and was going to bring destruction against them. Let's skip ahead 2700 hundred years and look at the people of God today. We worship our football, basketball, Hockey, Nascar, Hollywood, musicians, employers, money, pastors, biblical doctrines, facebook, internet, government, and just about everything under the sun. We covet better jobs, more money, more freedom, bigger houses, nicer cars, bigger T.V.s, Iphones, computers, our reputations, our titles, ect. We make the people of God 2700 hundred years ago look like saints. We have not become aliens in this world; we crawled up in bed with the world. Hosea told the people, that God has a case against the people of God. Do you think God has a case against the people who claim to be the people of God today? Hosea told the people of God that their religious excersizes they where performing every sabbath did not mean squat to God. He desired loyalty not sacrifices. 2700 hundred years ago the Jewish people where very religious. Most of Israel's and Judah's population spent their sabbaths at the synagogues listening to the scribes and pharisee's preach forgiveness of sin through the blood sacrifice and teach the law of Moses. At the conclusion of the services the priest would open up the altars for those to bring their sacrifices and ask God to forgive them of their sins. They would then have a celebration time singing praise songs to the Lord thanking Him for His forgiveness of their sin and have a feast to the Lord. Then along comes the prophet Hosea telling these people you have forgotten the Lord and God is about to destroy you. Don't you know Hosea must have looked like a idiot to these people. Hosea told them you can not exploit God and make blood sacrifices for your sin asking forgiveness for your sin so you can sin even more. God is having none of it and is not going to forgive your sins but is going to give back to you a double portion for your evil deeds Have we not done the same thing with today's salvation message? Absolutely! Just believe that Jesus shed His blood on the cross for your sins and you are forgiven. It's a free gift. You have no moral obligation to obey God. He knows you love your flesh more and do not want to stop sinning and He understands. And we show up to church every Sunday and put are tithe and offerings into the offering plate, sing our songs about how much we love Jesus, listen to our pastors little message, and at the conclusion go jump back into bed with the world and worship the things of the world, because we can not miss kickoff at noon for goodness sake. What a joke! You think we might have forgotten God like the people of God did 2700 hundred years ago? Is the people of God in trouble today? The church better wake up real fast because it is about to be too late. I challenge everybody reading this before you post any reply to read the book of Hosea to it's entirety and then read Revelation 17 and 18. It should not take more than a couple of hours. We can spend 4hrs watching a Super Bowl, so two hours of your time should not be to much to ask if you love the Lord. We sing about how much we love the Lord every Sunday.

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