“For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.” – Galatians 5:4
So many times we associate the phrase “falling from grace” to a moral failure. Someone is caught in sin, makes a mistake, etc., and the next thing you know, “So-and-so falls from grace” is all over the news. It has become a headline we see way too often.
It’s always tragic to see that happen. Yet the Bible does not consider someone failing morally to be the same thing as falling from grace (nor any sin for that matter). We only fall from grace when we try to earn God’s love, His favor, and His salvation. It’s never the “sinner” that falls from grace as much as it’s the self-righteous and proud. When our Christianity becomes about us, that’s when we start to fall. We fall from grace because we rely on our merits and efforts more than we do on the grace of God.
Our Christianity isn’t based on our performance, but simply on the person of Christ. We can never make ourselves right with God. Galatians 2 says that if we can be made righteous by keeping the law, then Christ died for nothing. Yet it’s so easy to make it about discipline, duty, and what I am doing and not doing in the name of Jesus. Even when it comes to our identity, it’s much easier to find it in being a leader or a minister or even a Christian. But the truth is, my identity isn’t found in being a Christian, but in being in Christ.
As human beings we all fail. We all make mistakes. We all sin! That’s why Christ died for us! Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more (Romans 5:20)! So does that mean I can do whatever I want? No! Paul writes right in the next chapter that we are in fact dead to sin (Romans 6:2). Unfortunately, our flesh is like “The Walking Dead”… It just keeps coming back, but by GRACE we crucify our flesh and our desires daily!
Our Christian lives therefore is all about responding to God’s love. To God’s grace. To God’s Son… So what do I do if I’ve failed? Repent! There’s only one condition to God’s forgiveness and it has nothing to do with a feeling. It’s just repenting. Making a decision to return to God. 1 John 1:8-9 says that as soon as we repent, God forgives our sins! It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance. The amazing thing is that when God forgives, He no longer remembers our sins anymore. Jesus’ blood covers all. It’s so powerful and effective that it’s as if we’ve never sinned before. Ever. “He has far removed our sins from us as east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).
Don’t let the enemy lie to you and bog you down with shame and guilt saying you have fallen from grace because of sin. Also don’t let pride blind you into thinking you’re a super Christian because you prayed an “x amount of minutes” and read a “y amount of chapters of the Bible”. My faith has nothing to do with what I do, but what Christ has done. If I pray, give, read, etc., it’s a response to God’s love, not an attempt to earn it. I have nothing to prove. I have nothing to show off. I am a child of God by His grace alone, and that’s enough for me.
So is falling down the same as falling from grace? Never! We can never out-sin the love of God. His grace is infinite. When we sin, we don’t let down God because we were never holding Him up to begin with. He’s the One who holds us up and holds us close. He never lets go. Come back to the Father. His love draws us in.
There’s no condemnation in Christ! (Romans 8:1)
Sin and death are broken! (1 Cor 15:56)
We are a new creation! (2 Cor 5:17)
The more I depend on God, the more I am like Christ