Six Essentials in Christian Ministry: Essential #3 Grow in Grace, Not Bitterness

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. (Heb. 12:15)

How can we miss the grace of God? We may be surprised how easy it is to do so! When the Scriptures are taught, when the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and baptism are practiced, when the church fellowships together, it is still possible for us to sit around with our fingers in our ears.

The phrase “root of bitterness” in this verse draws its language from Deuteronomy 29, in which Moses warns Israel about their hearts: “Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit” (v. 18). This is someone “who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart’” (v. 19, emphasis added). James echoes this warning with the command to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22, emphasis added).

When we hear without really listening, then we end up having all the trappings of Christianity while worldliness is still rooted in our hearts. Envy, bitterness, anger, rage, and despondency begin to make our souls impervious to what God really wants for us. We must pull these destructive weeds up by the root and instead let the grace of God fill our hearts so that we can be hearers and doers of His Word.

This article was adapted from the sermon “Essentials of Christian Maturity” by Alistair Begg.

Copyright © 2023 , Truth For Life. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s