Day 44: Falling from Grace

Galatians 5:2-4 :

Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. You are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace.

We learn here that one way to fall away from grace is to “desire to be justified by the law.” Notice how easily you can give up your faith in Christ. To do this is evidence that you never really understood Christianity in the first place. Christianity is all about God’s work not ours. Yes, we do have responsibility in the household of God as His children, but all of our merit for God’s favor comes only from the work of Christ and none of our own. Merit for service as children of God is rewarded with rewards. God’s favor is given as a gift only. Sainthood is not something that comes from the Catholic church. It is a gift when you believe. Murderers who believe are saints right next to the pope (if he believes in Christ and none of his own work for salvation).

See the slippery slope we find ourselves on if we allow just a little bit of our own work into the equation? It voids the work of Christ immediately. It is one of the best tricks in Satan’s hand. When we start to look at our own efforts, Jesus fades into the background.

Notice that the Jewish law also has a requirement that you must do it all. You become “a debtor to do the whole law.” You can’t pick and choose parts that you will do and parts that you let Jesus do. It doesn’t work like that. It won’t save you when you stand before God expecting to get into heaven! If you choose the path of the law, God expects you to live like His Son Jesus did, who followed and obeyed the whole law. Then you and Jesus would be allowed in on that basis. I am speaking an obviously ridiculous thing in order to show the ridiculous idea that the law can be mixed in and do you some good.

To find yourself having no need of Christ, is to find yourself fallen away from grace. This is what Paul feared for the Galatians, and this is what I fear for a very large number of “Christian” churches today.