Most people have no idea what falling from grace means. Religion defines it as a descent from divine favor into sin; however, a correct interpretation of the Word of God gives us a different meaning. For born-again believers, this is an important concept that could mean the difference between resting peacefully in Christ and slipping into painful self-effort.
Jesus’ body and blood provided forgiveness for all our sins, even the ones we haven’t committed yet, and we can trust in what He did on the cross. We need to remember this when a religious mindset threatens to move us away from depending on God and toward depending on our own performance to justify ourselves before Him. The covenant of grace that Jesus established operates by faith, not by constant hard work. Christ becomes of no effect to us when we’re justified by the law; this is falling from grace.
Sin is no longer an issue with God because Jesus’ one-time sacrifice has already taken care of it. We all make mistakes from time to time; when we fall on our Christian walk, we don’t fall back into sin, but straight into God’s loving hands, where His grace ministers to us and encourages us to get back up and keep going. Our salvation doesn’t depend on what we do, but on what Christ already did. Therefore, falling from grace is actually falling back into self-effort.
The salvation we’ve received is permanent and irrevocable. Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more; in other words, nothing we could ever do is strong enough to overcome God’s favor toward us. As believers, we’re not what we do, but what God says we are—saints, not sinners. Our status as saints and children of God is something we didn’t have to work for and could never earn; this is something to be truly grateful for.
Father God, Your Son chose to come to earth and die on a cross to permanently wash away sin. We’re now justified in Your sight by our belief in what He did, not by our own efforts. We’re thankful that we receive Your grace by our faith. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hebrews 9:28, NLT
1 John 3:1For more on depending on God instead of on our own natural abilities, click on the link for the three-DVD series, The Consequences of Falling from Grace.