Can a Christian Fall “Out” of Grace?
(All Bible verses quoted are from the New King James Version)
Being constantly surrounded with people and circumstances that demand from us our best performance, we can easily fall into the trap of feeling that God disapproves of us when we are not performing at our best. In our journey towards maturity in Christ, it’s quite normal for believers to make mistakes. God knew that we would not be instantly transformed in our minds when we become His children; the process of renewing our minds and overcoming old habits can sometimes take years. But often we also underestimate the vastness of the grace of our Father
Have you ever thought about whether you can fall “out” of the grace of God? You might have felt that there was a sin you have committed that God can not forgive you for (we will deal with this issue next week), maybe someone you have not forgiven or maybe even adultery or murder. Let’s see what the WORD says.
The only way to fall out of grace is by trying to observe the law. Gal 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
We do not fall from grace when we sin. In fact, the more someone has sinned, the more grace God gives to cover all that sin. Rom 5:20 – …but where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. Thus, when we sin we fall INTO grace.
A great number of Christians, when they realise this truth, go out and sin quite profusely, trying to make up for all the times they had restrained themselves before and when they thought that God would not accept or forgive them if they committed this or that sin. Some others still, realizing that they are free, use this new found liberty as an opportunity for the flesh (Gal 5:13), because they know that God does not count their sins against them anymore.
Probably the most difficult thing for pastors / sheppards during this period is not to become anxious or insecure about their flock, even as they see how some Christians purposely set out to indulge in sin. The only difference between now and previously is that the flock have now received “a license to sin”, as some would call it. This is why some preachers simply avoid teaching on grace, because they fear it would cause the church to break out into immorality. Well, have you ever thought about it this way: Christians sin, whether they are under law or under grace!!!
But always you will find, when a church has been established in the foundation of grace, even if they have set out initially to sin (all they will learn in any case is that sin brings about destruction, unfulfillment, and bad consequences), you will find that they will always make the return to their Father when they know He loves them unconditionally, like the father loved the prodicle son in Luke 15. In fact, God’s children would return faster and serve God even more than before when they realise that their destructive behaviour does them no good, and that only by running back to the arms of their Father will they find fulfilment in life.
Are you willing to preach grace to the extent of being misunderstood, persecuted and hated, like the apostle Paul? Acts 20:24 … the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, (is) to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Did you know how serious he was about this specific gospel (the gospel of grace)? Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
Are you willing to believe in the goodness of your Father so that no matter where you have ran off to or what you have squandered your inheritance on, that you can still run back to your Father’s house and believe you will be welcomed with open arms and a fatted calf? Yes you can believe it, God is that good!!!
Yours in Grace
Andre van der Merwe