But thank God that that's not what it means to Him! To be walking "in grace" has absolutely nothing to do with any "respectable position" that we hold among our peers, or even before God, through our own deeds or performance. Walking in grace means to be trusting solely in the finished work of Christ, and in the life of Christ that indwells us. It means that we have trusted in God's grace, not only for justification, but also for the living of our daily lives in Him.
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Gal 5:4)It's not those who have "performed well" and then have turned to "performing poorly" who have fallen from grace. It's those who have once trusted solely in grace but have turned to trusting in their own deeds for justification and daily living.
Some would argue that Paul's words to the Galatians (not only the verse above, but the entire passage surrounding it) are only in regards to "getting saved." But Paul is not talking about getting saved here! His whole epistle is written to those who are saved by grace through faith but are trying to maintain their salvation by their works!
Paul goes on to say:
You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Gal 5:7-9)They had been "running well." What, on the basis of their performance? No! Performance set aside, Paul was talking about their living by grace, not by their works or performance. They were now hindered from "obeying the truth." What, on the basis of obeying laws and commands? No! Obeying the truth of lives that are lived solely by grace!
O foolish Galatians! O foolish church! Come back to grace!