You CAN Fall From Grace
Isn't it amazing how verses can catch your attention even though you have been reading them for YEARS? My last post was about one such verse, and this one is about another. This verse popped out at me today in my daily reading. It's from Galatians: "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace". YOU........YOU have FALLEN AWAY FROM GRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, Paul establishes that you can fall away from grace. But the questions I want to know are, WHO is "you" and HOW did "you" get to this point? My guess is you want to know too.
First, I think it's very important to notice who he's NOT talking about. He's not talking about people who are struggling with sin. In fact, he's not even talking to unbelievers! Well, the sad truth is that he is talking to believers.......believers who BELIEVE they can save themselves. That brings us to the HOW part. They got to this point by trusting in one of Satan's oldest lies and tricks........that you can save yourself by your own righteousness. That's why they've fallen from grace, they don't think they NEED grace! When you feel the security of self-righteousness, you don't feel the need for ANYTHING else! God didn't take His grace from them...........they eliminated the need for it themselves. That's why Paul uses the phrase "have been alienated from Christ". YOU......who want to trust in being right, righteous by your own doing, and justified by law.....YOU have been alienated from Christ! Therefore, you have fallen away from grace.
I have been saying for years that "once saved always saved" is true.......if it were left to God. But it's not true because we are involved in this salvation thing.......we have to choose. God is NEVER going to pull His grace from us, but we have the ability or choice to NOT accept his grace. And what does that look like? The fact that we have struggles is not a sign we are turning our back on grace. Nor is being wrong about some doctrine, because that is a given. Surely not by wishing and striving for unity with other believers. Not by sinning daily. None of those things get in the way of you accepting His grace......quite the opposite in fact. Then WHAT or WHO does it look like? Simply put, it's the LEGALIST. And the sad thing is they didn't die out after Paul wrote this! They are alive and kicking. They are where you are, and they are where I am. At times I have seen one in my mirror when I was the only one in the room. Most of us have been a legalist at some point in our life.........some of us still are. Legalism kills.........grace brings life! So, let's do all we can to defeat legalism in our corner of the world. Don't ignore it, and don't sweep it under the rug. Shed light on it, because GRACE AND TRUTH can withstand the exposure of the light......legalism can't. Because it's not from God.
It's from us. Always has been, always will be.
I heard F.W. Mattox say one time something like this: "God spent 1,500 years chronicling the fact that you can't be saved by following the Law. It's what we call the Old Testament". :) I still miss brother Mattox!
If you are a sinner, God's grace is there for you in abundance. Bathe in it. Take all you need. Then share it.
If you are a legalist..........Paul says there is no grace for you. You decided you didn't need it.
"My hope is built on nothing less that Jesus's blood and righteousness".
"For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith.....and this not from yourselves, it is the GIFT of God....not by works, so that no one can boast."