Have You Fallen
Grace is neither withheld nor reduced because of
I have been asked many times if a born again believer can fall from
the grace of God since Galatians 5:4 says, you have fallen from grace.
The context of that statement is Jewish teachers who emphasized that
a person had to keep the Law of Moses to be saved had confuse the Christians in the church
at Galatia. They were insisting that all non-Jews must be circumcised and become Jews
first. The apostle Paul had taught them clearly that salvation is by grace through faith
in Christ (Gal. 1:10; 2:16-21; 3:1-14, 22-29; 5:5-6). Paul wrote his letter to the church
admonishing the believers to stand firm against the bondage of legalism. The immediate
context states Pauls conviction clearly, Behold I, Paul, say to you that if
you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to
every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.
You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have
fallen from grace (Galatians 5:2-4).
Paul is not saying, You have lost your salvation. What
happens when you fall from grace? You fall into law observance. You become
legalists. A. T. Robertson, writes, "'You left the sphere of grace in Christ and
took your stand in the sphere of law as your hope of salvation. Paul does not mince
words and carries the logic to the end of the course. He is not, of course, speaking of
occasional sins, but he has in mind a far more serious matter, that of substituting law
for Christ as the agent in salvation.
It is a very serious matter. Paul is concerned that
if the Galatians accepted the right of circumcision as necessary for
salvation, then they would be leaving the principle of grace and going
back to the Mosaic Law.
Here are two opposing approaches to God. One system
based on legalism and the other on God's grace. The same error can be
seen in a church that
teaches that salvation
depends on repentance, confession, faith, baptism, and church membership
as opposed to one that emphasizes salvation by grace through faith.
There is nothing wrong with these teachings except when they become the
means of salvation. Baptism by immersion and church membership are not
things you do in order to be saved. That is legalism at its worst
The biggest tragedy for the believer is that he is
robbed of the spiritual wealth that is his by abiding in Christ.
Legalists rob the Christian of his liberty. Legalists do not live by the
Spirit, but by rules and regulations. He is bound to laws and traditions
instead of walking by faith in Christ. Legalism gives a false sense of
security, but it chokes the Christ-life out of the believer.
No matter how much morality a person attains by
legalism he still comes short of the glory of God. No radically depraved
sinner can live up to the expectations of God. He may live up to another
sinner's expectations, but not according to God's standards.
However, when God saves us by grace and we live by
grace through faith in Christ we share in the riches of Gods grace (Eph. 1:7), the
wealth of His glorious inheritance in the saints (Eph.
1:18; Phil. 4:19), the riches of His wisdom (Rom. 11:33), and the
riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8). Moreover, in Christ we have "all the treasures of wisdom and
knowledge" (Col. 2:3), and we are "complete in Him" (Col. 2:10). Once a
person is "in Christ," he has all that he needs to live the kind of
Christian life God wants him to live. Legalism keeps you bound up with
the system of men and men's expectations as opposed to God.
God will never decrease His grace toward you because of your
sin. Your sins, all of them have been dealt with by the atoning death of
Christ. All my sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I
bear it no more, wrote Horatio Spafford. The basis for such belief is the perfect
righteousness of Jesus Christ imparted to the believing sinner. We have been justified by
grace alone through faith in Christ.
You cannot fall from grace, but you can break the Law. Our breaking
of the Law causes us to cast ourselves upon the grace of God and plead for His mercy.
Christ died for all our sins. Jesus paid it all. Our knowledge of sin should make us pray,
God be merciful to me the sinner.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
Click for printer friendly page
CLICK to E-mail SELAH! to a friend.