"You who are trying to be justified (made right with God, made righteous) by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace." (Galatians 5:4)
Falling from grace means we try to merit God's favor
and love by our own works. Many think that not trying hard to please
God is falling from grace but in fact it is the opposite. Falling from
grace is used once in the scriptures and refers to "trying to gain or
maintain your own righteousness." Falling from grace isn't the loss of
salvation it is a practical reality that means you don't receive God's
grace in your life because you are trying to earn a gift, you are too
busy working to stop, rest, and receive Christ's gift. When you have
fallen from grace it is not because you have done something wrong but
because you are not receiving God's grace in your relationship with Him.
We nullify the grace of God when we try to
be good on our own. It is not that His favor for us ends. It is that we
live as though His favor/grace does not make us right with Him
(justified or righteous) so we try to earn God's favor by doing for God
instead of trusting in God. Law (principles, rules, requirements,
expectations) points you to yourself and your own efforts. Grace points
you to Christ and His efforts on your behalf.
It is sad that almost 100% of how Christianity is
preached/taught is to live in that fallen from grace state. That
everything depends on you and if you mess up you are separated from
fellowship with God and you've got to strive to do great things for
Those things sound good and right. But God's ways
are far above our ways. We don't have to earn God's favor to be saved
and we don't have to earn it to continue in life. We have it. We do not
have to earn God's approval by what we do anymore than an infant has to
earn his or her parents' approval.
Expectations breed guilt and shame because if you think you have a measuring
stick you will measure yourself. The only thing we need to be measuring
is how much God loves us. His love transforms us and gives us far more
than we can even ask or imagine.