“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the Law; you are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4)
Is falling from grace the result of committing some terrible sin? And, how do we know for sure if we have fallen from grace? Before we can know whether or not we have fallen from grace, we must understand just what grace is and how it’s received. Grace is the goodness of God given to us as believers by the Lord. It is unmerited favor and comes to us by faith in what Christ did at the cross. So, as long as we maintain our faith in Christ and His work at the cross, we remain in the grace of God. We fall from grace not by committing some terrible sin, although sin will be the result, but by moving our faith from Christ and His work at the cross to anything else.
At salvation, we place our faith in Christ and He saves us and we enter into the kingdom as children of God. We are saved by grace through faith. If after having coming to Christ by faith, we leave the cross and begin placing our faith in other things to walk out this life, we have left the Lord’s way of victory. We are saved by faith in Christ and the cross and we are sanctified (our daily walk) by faith in Christ and the cross. If our faith is moved from Christ to anything else for victory in our lives over sin, even good things such as prayer, fasting, Bible reading or church attendance, then we have fallen from grace. The end result will be failure in our lives.
So, we need only keep our faith in Christ and His finished work in the cross to stay in the grace God has provided. This is what Paul spoke of in his letter to the Galatians. The Galatians had been visited by men from the Jerusalem church who were trying to hold onto the Law. They told the Galatians that the Law must be added to faith in Christ. Paul was understandably quite upset with them and wrote the following:
“I do not frustrate the grace of God (making anything other than Christ crucified the object of our faith): for if righteousness comes by the law (any law), then Christ died in vain (if we can live for God any other way Christ need not of come).” (Galatians 2:21)
Romans chapter 8 tells us that the Holy Spirit works exclusively through faith in Christ and the cross to bring us God’s grace, which enables us to walk in victory. There is no other way that the Holy Spirit works. He requires that our faith be in Christ and His finished work at the cross alone. This is the Law of God as the following verse states:
“For the Law (law of God) of the Spirit (how the Holy Spirit works) of life (the life that comes from God) in Christ Jesus (what He did at the cross) has made me free (victory) from the Law of Sin and Death (the only way to defeat sin in our lives).” Romans 8:2
Paul preached the cross strongly in his ministry and for good reason. He knew that there was no victory outside of faith in Christ and Him crucified. That is the reason Paul wrote, “For the preaching of the cross is to them who perish foolishness, but to we who are saved it is the power of God.” The power comes from the Holy Spirit as we place our faith in Christ and the cross exclusively.
As we have stated, if we move our faith from Christ to other things we have “fallen from grace.” Again, falling from grace is not the result of some sin we have committed, but it is the result of our moving our faith from Christ to something else. If we do move our faith from Christ, sin and failure will be the result. We are saved by faith and we are kept by faith. Paul said it well:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free (freedom to live a holy life), and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (leave the cross and go under law of any kind).” (Galatians 5:1)
We are all in desperate need of the grace of God. The Lord will freely give it to us if we go His way. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” We come to the Lord by faith for salvation and we rest from our own efforts to obtain salvation. After salvation, we are to keep our faith in the Lord and the Holy Spirit will work in our lives to bring about our sanctification. This is a daily placing of our faith in Christ and the Cross and not in our own efforts. Jesus was emphatic about this when He said:
“If any man will come after me (become a disciple), let him deny himself (our own strength, willpower, ability), and take up his cross (faith in what Jesus did there) daily (important), and follow Me (can only be done by our continued faith in the cross).” (Luke 9:23)
In our initial verse, Paul was warning the Galatians that if they had moved their faith from Christ to the Law then they had fallen from grace. The only other place they, or we, could go to is works. It’s either faith or works; that’s it. Once we realize this, our choice becomes an easy one. Grace through the power of the Holy Spirit, or faith in our own works to live out our lives before the Lord. There is only one thing that is greater than our sin. There is only one thing that will keep us in our walk before the Lord. It’s the grace of God and it cost the Lord greatly to provide it. Why would we look anywhere else for victory in our lives?
Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within. Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin!
Grace Greater Than Our Sin – Composed by Julia H. Johnston
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