Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Meaning of "Fallen from Grace"

"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 God...

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment