Have you ever seen newspaper headlines that read – EVANGELIST SO AND SO, or PASTOR SO AND SO HAS FALLEN FROM GRACE ? Would it surprise you to find out that falling from grace, according to the Bible, has nothing to do with sin or sinful behavior?
How you answer this question, “Have you fallen from grace?” depends on what you understand grace to be. This term – fallen from grace – is normally used by society and the media to describe someone that is considered to be a religious leader, and has been caught in sinful acts of fraud to sexual sin, and it is usually reserved for the priests, pastors, ministers, bishops, etc. Thank God we don’t depend on society or the media for our understanding of God’s word.
To understand this, we need to know what grace is, what it is not, and how that knowledge and implementation of that knowledge can affect every area, and I mean every area, of our lives.
Grace, very simply defined, is the undeserved, unmerited favor and blessings of God. This means that we do not have to “DO” anything to receive it. It is the free gift of God. We just receive it.
Many of you are wondering why it is that you are having such a struggle in life. “I mean, if grace is the free, unmerited favor and blessings from God, and it has nothing to do with leading a sin filled life, then why does so much go wrong for me. I’m a good person…….I’m even a Christian!” Well, it ties in to the often asked question, “why do bad things happen to good people?” Many of you are Christians and are even wondering about Jesus’ words in John 10:10 …..I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. You’re wondering where that abundant life is, right?
We need to dig a little deeper to understand this. Before we do, let me pause here and say that if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and you are experiencing life that seems to be the opposite of the abundant life, you just might want to pay very close attention to the rest of this.
If you are really wanting to understand this, you are going to have to invest a little time reading and researching some scripture.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior and become Christians, many things happen. One of the things that happens is that we are redeemed from the curse of the law. That means obviously that prior to salvation, we must be living under the curse of the law. Galatians 3:13 says Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Now, to understand this, we have to go back to the “law” or the Ten Commandments. Prior to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, everyone was blessed or cursed according to their obedience to the law. Here is where you need to have an understanding of Deuteronomy 28, 29, and 30. Please read these three chapters to get a clear understanding of the blessings and the curses.
This is the point where the problem starts to come in. Many are still trying to receive the blessings, have the abundant life, obtain the unmerited favor and grace of God by earning it or by working for it or by “being a good person.” It does not work that way. Ladies and gentlemen – please, please, please get this. It will revolutionize your life. This is not my opinion. This is what God’s word says.
Galatians 2:16 – Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Did you get that? This could not be any more clear. If you are saved, you are no longer justified or accepted or blessed according to your obedience to the works of the law. You are not saved that way and neither are you blessed that way.
Okay, now let me see if we can pull all this law, grace, salvation, blessings and cursings together in an understandable way.
Read very carefully the following verses: Galatians 3: 10-14
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. [ In other words, if you continue to try to justify yourself by the law or Ten Commandments, then you are placing yourself under a curse]
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
So, there you have it. If you are not experiencing the abundant life or the fruit of the Spirit, it might just be that you have placed yourself under the curse of the law by trying to keep it.
The fruit of the Spirit is Galatians 5:22,23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I ask you one final question: Have you fallen from grace?
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace – Galatians 5:4
I hope this has been a blessing to you all,