Thursday, July 28, 2011
“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4 KJV).
Today’s Scripture has been greatly misunderstood, often being used to support the idea of loss of salvation. The Galatians were saved because Paul called them “brethren” nine times (1:11, 3:15, 4:12, 4:28, 4:31, 5:11, 5:13, 6:1, 6:18).
“Fallen from grace” describes many Holy Spirit-indwelt Christians today. They are saved, eternally secure in Christ Jesus, but like the poor Galatians, they have fallen prey to denominationalism. They have inadvertently or deliberately abandoned God’s grace to us in Christ. Sadly, they prefer Israel’s legalistic program of time past.
Galatians 3:1-3 could be written to today’s average “Bible-believing” church: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
Protestant and Catholic churches force their members to keep the Mosaic Law in order to gain favor with God. Are we saved by keeping the Law? No. We are saved by God’s grace, apart from our works (Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5). How do our Christian lives operate? On the basis of Law? No. Our Christian lives operate by Christ living in and through us, not us living the Christian life (Galatians 2:20).
“I do not frustrate [hinder, make of no effect] the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:21). The way you prevent God’s grace from operating in your Christian life is to force yourself back under Israel’s yoke of bondage, the Mosaic Law. At that point, your Christian life will be utterly destroyed, like the Galatians’.
Brethren, do not fall from grace. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).