Have You Been Removed From God’s Grace?
Galatians 1:6 – I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Galatians 1:7 – Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Hello readers, it is the end of a long, dark, cold week for me, but a week where I’ve been reading Galatians and have been blessed by it. There is so much to take from the book, but I want to talk about the importance of not being removed from God’s grace as a Christian, because it is so easy to be removed from the grace of God back to a mindset and life that is so far inferior to what God has and wants for you. In advance, I do apologize if this is as clear as I hoped to make it, I tried my best to make it that, but there were a lot of thoughts in it, but I hope if nothing else, this can help to point you to the Lord Jesus Christ, realizing that it’s all about him from start to finish, a life of grace glorifies God alone, and really the biggest enemy to our walk with God is ourselves and our nasty flesh nature that opposes faith in God, and that so easily denies us of God’s grace which is extended freely to us.
Being removed from God’s grace can happen so easily to any and all of us, and many people live under bondage to sin or the law or some works or performance based merit system, even while claiming the grace of God. Are we truly in grace and living by God’s grace? A lot of people say they are, and think they are, but their lives show they are not. Indeed we are warned not to be removed from grace, fall from grace and another scripture warns us not to fail of the grace of God. And you may even look like you’re saved and living by the grace of God, but you’re like that tare in that wheat field, you are not really so, and your life lacks the grace and blessing of God despite your zeal and commitment and self denial and discipline and dedication.
To begin with, let’s define some terms. What is God’s grace? It’s actually hard to reduce “grace” to an all encompassing defining sentence, because God’s grace will take an eternity for us to even begin to truly comprehend. But when you acknowledge your sin and place your faith in Jesus Christ, which you either have done, or you can do right now, you will receive and experience what the Bible calls the grace of God. That grace of God that washes over your soul when you simply trust in the Lord Jesus Christ can only cause us to say like Ruth said as the blessedness of Boaz touched her soul, why have I found favour in thy sight?
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines God’s grace as “the free unmerited love and favour of God”. If you ever get a grasp of the grace of God, it will change your life, because grace is not a blank cheque to sin like so many Christians treat it and despise it so. God’s grace saves us, changes us, teaches us, motivates us, empowers us and enables us. It takes us to a plane of living that no religion and no belief system or lifestyle of the world can offer. Being in God’s grace is being right with God, and there is no price that can be placed on being right with your Creator.
One of the most important aspects of God’s grace to us is that it is free. We have this natural mindset of “earning” favour with God and man. But God is not seeking that relationship with us, he chooses to show his goodness and kindness toward us in saving us and transforming our lives. God chose to make promises to Abraham, Abraham did not deserve them. And all Abraham did to get them was believe what God had said he would do. God’s grace is accessed by faith, and faith alone. If you do not have faith in Jesus Christ, you do not have the grace upon your life. As soon as you’re trying to prove you’re a good person, and keep your idea of “god” happy by how you perform, you are plunged into the bondage of works based justification futility. It is truly an insult to God that we think we can earn his grace, why does our flesh so resist simply thanking and trusting and loving God for who he is and what great things he has done for us? One thought I’ve recently had is that we resist God’s grace because his grace is not something we can control or is in our control, we like to have things in our control, but God’s grace is something we have to trust in on his part, and that doesn’t come easy to us. A life of faith is not something we see, it’s someone we are trusting in to come through on his word and his promises. That’s what Abraham did, are you a child of Abraham, a child of faith?
I do hope you are saved, but if you are not, you can be saved and be forgiven of your sins and receive new and abundant and full and eternal life through Jesus Christ… for free. And the wonderful fact, and a fact I really discovered more and more in Galatians, is that grace is all about Christ’s faithfulness and what Christ has done and will do in our lives. Works is all about me, and my failed and abortive efforts in life… but grace springs from God’s goodness and kindness to me, which makes me love him and want to serve him as his son, not a slave under his cruel bondage, which he isn’t cruel, and he doesn’t want us in bondage. But many people live in bondage in their religion or lifestyle, slaves to sin and Satan and in darkness.
What is bondage? Well bondage can be defined as “Slavery or involuntary servitude; captivity; imprisonment” and “In scripture, spiritual subjection to sin and corrupt passions, or to the yoke of the ceremonial law” Does this sound like where you are at in life? Paul was writing to a church that was getting entangled again in the yoke of bondage, a yoke that had been taken off them and exchanged for Christ’s easy yoke and light burden when they got saved, but now here they are putting that heavy yoke of bondage back on and taking them in the direction opposite to God’s grace… and Paul is writing an earnest letter to plead with them to not trade in the freedom found in the grace of God for a life of bondage, flesh and futility.
The Bible teaches us very clearly that we are saved by grace through faith, and that it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. Yet how do we get removed from God’s grace so quickly? And as we see, Paul is writing to a church, so this can happen to Christians! But if God set you free from bondage to sin, bondage under the law, bondage to the weak and beggarly elements of this world… why, having been saved… would you want to go back to that? Why would you want to go back to a life of trying to earn God’s favour and blessing through what you do? Isn’t a relationship based on HIS grace far better than a relationship hinging on YOUR performance? And we can never perform… because we are fallen sinners… and the more we try to perform the further we take ourselves from God and the more chains and heavy yokes we take on our necks and backs.
Stop trying to earn and merit God’s grace! And this is what “religion” does, it produces a list of rules that you must fulfill to please God. But the fact is, God saved you because he wanted to, it was nothing you did or didn’t do. Jesus died for you while you were a sinner and in darkness. Why would you think that now you are saved, suddenly the whole thing has changed to something other than grace? Why not let God’s grace transform you rather than trying to earn it? I think of Jacob trying to earn his way with Laban for years and years, when he could have followed God those years, who made him a bunch of wonderful promises based on nothing other than the fact that God wanted to. All Jacob needed to do was trust God all along, but instead he got stuck in a life of trying to earn what he got doing hard work… and getting cheated constantly. Why is our Christian life under Laban so much, when we can walk by faith in God who is so good to us and leave that Laban servitude style of Christianity behind? And note, it was God that was faithful to Jacob, he was the only consistency in Jacob’s life, and really I look at my life and I’m so destitute of faith I declare myself bankrupt before God. It is all his grace, it is his faithfulness, it is his promises.
I thought about a verse in Galatians 4 which had puzzled me, which says “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” Usually with a covenant or contract between two people, both are involved in negotiations. Just as we were involved in that first one with God, God said what to do, and they said we will do it. And Moses mediated that covenant. But the next covenant, the new covenant, is all based on what Jesus Christ has done. What do we have to do? What do we contribute? Nothing, all we need to do to enter into the blessedness of Christ is to trust in him. Which one of us was at the cross when God brokered a new deal with mankind based on his Son’s blood? Not one of us. All forsook him and fled. Summary: It’s a pretty good deal hey.
God’s grace by very definition disqualifies our works, both to be saved, and to live saved. If we are relying on what we can do in our flesh to earn God’s favour and blessing, all that we do only serves us to exclude us from grace. The more you try to live “right”, the more you will show yourself to be unrighteous. But as we have already said, why do we so quickly go back to this? Why, if you have been set free by being saved, would you go back to bondage voluntarily… a bondage that you do not need to go back to or live in? If God has struck the heavy and oppressive yoke of religion off of you, as he did to Paul, why take the yoke and put it back on yourself? God has removed the law, we as Christians live in the Spirit and what we do comes from the person that we have been created to be, being born again, it’s just our nature to love others and show mercy and be patient… because that’s what the Holy Spirit produces in us. It’s not to get anything from God, it’s because we are right with God. It flows from loving him, and no longer being stuck in sin and darkness. Do right because of who is, not because you’re trying to earn credit with God. We have been set free, how about live free? And no, true freedom doesn’t produce a desire to sin because I can get away with it, which is bondage.
No true Christian ever “grows up” from the grace of God. Yet we seem to relegate God’s grace to a one time salvation experience, and then “we take it from here”. Yes, we need God’s grace to be saved, but we need that same grace to live it as children of God in this evil world. Yeah, that means we need a ton of grace! But he giveth more grace! His grace is sufficient. There need never be a day where our grace battery is empty. Because God’s Son doesn’t run empty, he ever lives to make intercession for us. The Bible says that God is abundant in grace and mercy to us. There’s a plentiful and infinite supply, because Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and life is a fountain forever. We never stop needing God’s grace, which we need every second of every day, but we can live by God’s grace, because his promises always have enough supply. God’s grace never does run dry. You never exhaust God’s faithfulness… even though our faithfulness gets in short supply awful quick.
So we know that God’s grace is received only one way… and that is by faith in Jesus Christ. And the more I’ve read Galatians, the more I’ve just realized the infinite superiority of a grace based relationship with God, which is so far above a relationship based on me trying to work to please God and justify myself in his sight. Far out, what a poor relationship we can trade in grace for. Have you made that trade from spiritual life to spiritually dead works based flesh life? A works based system of justification is so inferior to the grace of God, it makes you wonder why we keep going back to it. It doesn’t work anyway, and it produces no blessing or fruitfulness. But that’s what our flesh does and insists upon doing, our flesh nature which can never know or please God. The best your flesh can do, no matter how religious you make your flesh, the best it can produce is utterly rejected by God. Oh that Ishmael might stand before thee! But God said no to Abraham. So we all have a choice to walk according to our flesh or walk by faith led by his Spirit, but know that faith is the only way of God’s grace and God’s promise, just as Abraham learnt with his two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
We can either live a life trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, and his grace transforming our lives, and his grace being the motivator for what we do and don’t do… or we can live a life in the energy and powerlessness of our own flesh in trying to live “Christian” even. And living in the flesh will result in a defeated and barren life. Imagine being a son who only does what the father says because he has to, not because of a love relationship where you want to. If you love your father, you obey him because you love him, because of who he is… not because you “have to” to keep him happy. Our faith should work by love, and our relationship to God should be motivated by love, not by obligation against our will. In our flesh, we will not walk by faith, because our flesh mocks a life of faith, you cannot train your flesh into faith. We are not meant to remodel our flesh or try and coerce God into accepting it, we are meant to crucify it. This is why so many churches fail, because they’re flesh remodelling centres, not salvation stations.
So we know from the Bible that it is possible to be saved by the grace of God, but then to fall from that grace. Because that’s who Paul is writing to in Galatians. People had been saved at Galatia by the preaching of the gospel by the apostle Paul, but now Paul has found out these guys are following a different gospel now, a different gospel to what Paul had preached and which they had received, a different gospel that was a distortion and perversion of the true gospel, which was taking them back to bondage that they had been freed from under the mirage and illusion of being more godly and spiritual!
And so Paul starts his letter by telling the Galatians that the gospel he preached wasn’t his own. Paul hadn’t come up with it. It wasn’t Paul’s invention. The gospel he preached was the same gospel that saved him out of his own religious darkness, and the same gospel which he was delivered by Jesus Christ to go and preach to the Gentiles. Notice, revelation was involved in Paul’s conversion and Paul’s commission. Receiving the gospel will take revelation, there is no salvation without the revelation of Jesus Christ to the lost sinner. There must be illumination and enlightenment in order to grasp the glorious grace of God.
And Paul knew a thing or two about the grace of God. Because it was the grace of God that came to him that day on the Damascus road in the midst of his law keeping attempting religious life, and God’s grace transformed his life forever. What we he doing on that road? He was on his way to kill more Christians. Because when you live by do’s and don’ts, you persecute others who aren’t as “good” as you because they don’t do and don’t what you do and don’t. Get it? Do’s and don’t create superiority complexes, they create exclusive clubs, they create fleshly religious caldrons, and there is death in that pot. All this I’m circumcised and you’re not and that makes me more righteous than you achieves is to create animosity, self glory, self elevation and empty barren religion. It doesn’t please God. Only Jesus pleased God. Only faith in Jesus pleases God. And Paul sees this Galatian church now on a trajectory back to what he had been gloriously saved from! Why go back to dead Jewish religion that cannot save, that cannot furnish with grace, that has no blessing of God, which is endless works and attempts to make ourselves righteous in the sight of God?
God’s grace changed Paul, and it changed him forever. If you’re claiming God’s grace and it has not changed you, you have not received it and do not even know it yet. As we have already said, faith is how you access God’s grace, but your flesh will resist you trusting in Jesus Christ. Your flesh will always oppose that new man that is born in you of the Spirit, which Christ has done for us when we get saved. See, we are now meant to be lead by and walk in the Spirit, so it’s not this spiritually devoid religious exercise which is what past religion we are delivered from is… instead it’s a life motivated and inspired and enabled by the grace of God and the Spirit of God now in us. We now have a new nature, we have been made spiritually alive, we are sons of God and we cry Abba Father deep within. If you ever get a hold on the grace of God, it will transform your life. God’s grace took Paul from a spiritually dead… but super educated and religious Christian killer, and it took him to a man who risked his life to spread the gospel because he loved his Saviour and loved others and wanted to see them saved.
God does give grace, just often we do not ask for it. I’ve noticed how little I ask for God’s grace. Give me grace God. How did Paul start his letters and finish them? Grace unto you! It just doesn’t come naturally to us. Faith doesn’t come naturally to us. But the true Christian life is a life of grace, not fleshly efforts to prove our spirituality and please God in order for him to bless us. If God blesses you, it’s because he chose to because of his grace to you, not because you earnt it through dedication and zeal. Jesus Christ truly has set us free. He’s set us free from the religious systems of the world where their gods require performances and fleshly efforts to be appeased… but God gave to us his Son. I thought about how we can so easily turn Christianity into our do’s and don’t which supposedly exalt us above everyone else and we look down our noses at those who aren’t as super spiritual as we are. If you don’t think you can be removed, think again, this church got gloriously saved, and “so soon” they were removed from God’s grace. Let’s really evaluate if our Christian walk is by God’s grace, or instead by our flesh. Is the Spirit of God in you, GIVEN to you freely by God. How did you get saved? Was it by how good you are? Or was it because God was gracious to you who did not deserve it and in his kindness he stopped you on your path of destruction and turned the lights on and saved your wretched soul?
If the apostles like Peter can get caught up in this religious garbage, surely we can also. Paul had to rebuke even Peter because he started fearing the religious somebodies and though he had been living free, now he’s saying to the Gentiles, you haven’t got “all” of God until you get circumcised. He went back to this “we’re better than the Gentiles because we are circumcised” mode. Like physical circumcision makes any difference to you in the sight of God. And the glory all started going into their flesh, rather into the cross of Christ. And they fell from grace. I don’t want to fall from grace. I want to start in grace, continue in grace, and finish in grace. What I want to do is live by faith motivated by love, I don’t want to work because I have to, I want to work because I want to. Motives do matter, what’s in the heart does matter, and you might be putting on a “fair shew” in the flesh, but God sees that, and God rejects that. Christianity isn’t about you outperforming someone else. It really does matter where your life is coming from. What are your works coming from? How’s your heart? Is it life giving water from the fountain of life inside you? Let’s get back to faith in God, and see it really is all about the faith of Christ, not my failure of a faith life. If I make it, it will only be because of the grace and mercy and love of God. He saves me in spite of me, not because of me, and I don’t want to forget that.
If you truly think you’re going to “wrestle” God’s blessing out of him, think again. You know a life in the flesh is a life fighting back against him? Why does God have to fight you before he blesses you? Jacob fought back. Instead of fighting, how about faith? Jacob wrestled all night with God, but the blessing came when his power to wrestle was taken from him. He went from wrestling to clinging on. When are you going to stop fighting God for the blessing, and start trusting him for it? What does he need to put out of joint in your life to break you free from your own capacity and strength and efforts? When will he finally break your confidence in your own flesh, and put you out of joint with that old walk so you can now walk a new walk, and your life instead become about trusting him and living by his grace rather than by your planning and devices and manipulations and efforts.
When Jacob left Peniel, he was a new man with a new name, and the sun rose on him that morning as he went a new walk, oh sure, it was a different walk, a hobbling walk, a humbled walk… but it was the new walk of someone with a new name… broken and blessed by God. Do not remove yourself from grace. Do not let someone remove you from grace. Instead of trying harder, how about pray for more grace, how about glory in the cross rather than trusting in your big spiritual show? Nothing about Christianity is earning it, it’s about receiving it by faith and being changed and empowered by God’s glorious grace. Trust in the grace of God, believe in his grace, receive his grace… by faith because of his faith, and let him change your life today and break you free of yourself, and save you from yourself. Trust in the grace of God.
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Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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