Don’t Fall From Grace!
One of my earliest experiences as a joy-filled new believer was a stern warning from a pinch-faced legalist:
“Be careful with all this talk about grace, young man. You Jesus Freaks need to know that you can fall from grace.”
That man scared the holy crud out of me as he turned me to the last part of Galatians 5:4 and there it was, “You have fallen from grace.”
“Uh oh,” I thought. “Maybe this Christian thing and the Jesus loving me idea isn’t as free and wonderful as I first imagined. I better get to work and prove to Jesus that I’m good enough to keep from falling from His grace.”
Falling From Grace In Context
If you’ve been scared spitless by someone telling you that you could lose your salvation by falling from grace, I have good news. The context of Galatians 5 isn’t talking about losing salvation at all, but it is warning against returning to the Law as a system of pleasing God. That’s a horrible decision that effectively cuts you off from the real-time blessings of the grace of God in Christ.
Here’s Paul’s Main Idea In Context: Stand fast in your freedom rather than being enslaved by the law so that you can pursue righteousness by faith that is expressed through love (5:1-6).
Five reasons why Galatians 5:1-6 does not teach loss of salvation.
- This would revoke the promises of God (John 3:16; John 6:47; Ephesians 2:8-9). Romans 8:29 tells us plainly that this will never happen.
- Paul calls the readers brothers and sisters (v 11) even after telling them that those who are submitting to circumcision have “fallen from grace.”
- This is describing two contrasting systems of righteousness—law/grace; works/faith—not two states of being (saved/unsaved).
- The verbs speak of losing our grip on something (grace) or rendering something useless (our resources in Christ). They do not speak of God losing His grip on us because that will never happen (John 10:29-30).
- Logically, this would mean that even the slightest submission to legalism would mean loss of salvation.
The True Warning: Cling to Grace, Don’t Go Back to The Law!
The tragedy of what that man did to me is that in responding to his warning to get to work for Jesus or I’d lose my salvation, he pushed me over the edge of the exact threshold Paul is warning against.
For a time I went back to the Law and started trying to manage my sin.
It didn’t work. At all. Not for a minute. It only wore me out and filled my heart with shame.
Because the only way to live the Christian life is by grace, through faith.⇦Tweet that!
Question: How can I help you gain absolute assurance that the only requirement for heaven is faith in Christ and the only way to live the life is by continuing to trust Him?