Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fallen from grace (repost)

Originally posted here, January 9, 2007.

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. Right on brother. Grace and Law are totally incompatable. It's like water and poison. You can drink a glass of water, but put one drop of poison in the water and the water rendered useless.

    Put one law with grace and its rendered powerless.

    If we choose to obey ONE law, then we have to abandon grace and be obedient to ALL the laws...... and that not possible, so I'm going for broke on the grace issue. :)

  2. "I'm going for broke on the grace issue..."

    Right on! The law had a purpose, a time, a ministry... but once faith has come its ministry is done. We simply can't mix the two. If there's an ounce of law, it negates grace 100%.

  3. What is so cool about the whole deal is God just keeps on loving us until we see Him more and more for who He really is...when we see Him; we'll be like Him. What if that isn't talking about Him "coming in the clouds"? What if that could mean as we come to realize more and more how great His Grace and love are that we come into the realization of our identity??? And He lives through us???

  4. I do believe in the literal realization of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, with us literally being "caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." I also believe that the more we realize how wonderful God's grace is and how wonderful our identity is in Him - putting our confidence in Jesus and not in our fleshly efforts to please God - the more our lives will naturally show all of that in the outward expression of Christ in us. Indeed it's all about Him living through us. If our focus is back on law and self-effort, I think that hinders this beautiful expression of His life.

  5. Joel, ::ACKKK::, you'd think I could express myself better!

    I should have said what if it doesn't JUST mean that. :)

    Sorry you've been ill; sounds like you need some "soup". We love you and pray you'll be feeling better.

  6. "::ACKKK::"

    You got a cold?

    LOL, just kidding!

    I totally understood what you were saying and I added my own little clarification as to my own thoughts to it all. It's all good. :) Had me some Southwestern Style Vegetable Chicken soup yesterday, and while I don't know what Southwestern Style "really" means (it's just what the label said), I really liked it!

  7. ::GAAACK:: is when you have a know; and your coughing up unmentionable stuff. :)

    Uh oh, I think I mentioned it...

  8. You're right! The letter "G" changes everything!

    Force becomes G-force.
    Suit becomes G-suit (clothes worn by astronauts)
    String becomes G-string
    And Kenny becomes Kenny G!

    Gee golly!

  9. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

    I have heard the phrase 'fallen from grace' used by some to prove that we can lose our salvation :)

    The illustration of the law of gravity and law of thermodynamics resonated well with me (I can't remember who said it?). We use the law of thermodynamics to fly high in the sky, overcoming the law of gravity. The moment we step out of the airplane, NATURALLY we come under the law of gravity.

    When we fall from grace, we fall NATURALLY into law. There is no in-between!

    I think this is true when it come to 'resting' as well. When we are not resting in the grace, law takes over.

  10. Right, Bino, that's a great analogy, and there's no in between.

    It's so easy to just go with gravity, so that's why we must strive to rest. :)