Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. – Galatians 5:2-6
My wife picked up the saying somewhere, “If a Christian sins, he hasn’t fallen from grace, he has fallen into grace.” We are so good at getting it backward, especially when it comes to the gospel. Grace is what engulfs us when we deserve to be left naked and afraid as was the case with Adam and Eve after they sinned. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Because they were ashamed and needed to cover themselves). [Genesis 3:7]
The church at Galatia has to contend with some fierce advocates of the law of Moses. The message of grace was incredibly divisive in this region. Paul was run out of every town in Galatia where he preached and once left for dead after being stoned. This legalistic spirit tried to gain sway in the church in Galatia, and so Paul had to write the letter to the Galatians to combat the false teaching that opposed the message of grace.
We can be thankful for the battle of the Galatians because it resulted in the writing of one of the clearest recordings of the gospel of grace we have. It is the book that moved Martin Luther and triggered the Reformation that restored this glorious message of grace in which we stand today.
Falling from grace happens when we rely on our own efforts to be justified, not when we succumb to our flesh and sin. Elsewhere Paul further glorifies God’s grace by saying “but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” – Romans 5:20
We have a painting on our wall with the words, Live Life Joyfully. I love to be reminded daily that I can live with joy. The only way that joy is possible, however, is to recognize that my relationship with God is based on grace and not on my perfect obedience to God’s law or man’s law. When I fail to keep either law, I still have joy because of the free grace of God whereby Jesus paid the penalty for my sin and gave me his righteousness. He did it because he loves you and me.
Every human lives a physical life. There is another life granted to those who place their faith in Jesus. It is eternal life and is the real life that will extend our physical life into eternity future through the resurrection.
The chief end or purpose of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever. Only his grace enables me to enjoy him for a minute, let alone forever.
Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, – Hebrews 13:9