Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fallen from grace

Gal 5:1-7
5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. 7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? NASB

"You were running well," Paul says to the body of Christ at Galatia. "You had rejected the works of the law (self-righteousness) in order to come to know Jesus by His grace and you were living your daily life in the same way, by grace and not by trying to maintain your salvation by your own works. So what's going on? Who has kept you from obeying the truth that you started in?"

"You know that if you try to keep even one ounce of the law," Paul tells them, "then you are obligated to keep the whole thing - every jot and every tittle (see James 2:10). But that's not what God called you to do. You had to die to Mr. Law in order to be married to Mr. Grace (Rom 7:4) (thanks to Steve McVey for the "Mr. Law/Mr. Grace" word picture). But now you're going back to the old way? You're trying to mix law and grace? You're thankful for Jesus, but yet you're thinking that it's your own works that somehow will keep you justified?"

"You have fallen from grace!"

The Galatians had known the truth. They had lived in the truth. They had trusted solely in the name of Jesus - in God's grace - for their justification and salvation. But some legalists had slipped in among them and were trying to persuade them that they had to keep the law.

"But," Paul said, "we through the Spirit eagerly await for the hope of righteousness by faith," not by our own efforts. If you have fallen from grace, get back up and put your whole confidence in Jesus, and Jesus alone. His grace holds all the power that our self-effort could never achieve. Remember you are married to Mr. Grace. Get out of that adulterous relationship with Mr. Law!

1 comment:

  1. Hey there Joel,
    I had to comment because I had just read an article by Ed Young in a magazine, "Relevant" the other day, (even though they don't recognize their Canadian readership which really kind of irks me...however He is working on that in me. :)
    He talked about that very phrase, a fall from Grace.....usually when we are looking at the person and using that phrase ....we really should be saying they are in a fall to Grace. Interesting eh?
    He says,
    "While we talk a lot about God's inexhaustible grace and unconditional love, when it comes right down to it, we still believe that grace is exhaustible."

    You, my brother are exactly right.....again from the article;
    "A fall from grace is the self-righteous person who tries to earn his or her salvation through the guise of moral living, declaring that Christ's work on the cross was unnecessary - at least for them."
    Always in Him,