Shannon wrote me an email recently describing a woeful tale of how he grew up believing he could fall from grace and not enter heaven when he died. But it wasn’t only him. His entire family labored under this same religious burden.
He wrote: “When I was growing up as a child, I remember my grandparents, from both my mother’s and father’s side of my family, thinking that they had to give ten percent of their income to the church, or God would never accept them. My own parents believed the very same lie. Their relationship with God was totally fear-based. They believed just missing one tithe could cause them to fall from grace. Since I recently learned the New Covenant message, it brought tremendous relief and freedom. It’s so exciting, knowing that all of us Christians are headed for Heaven, and even better, knowing that both, my parents and grandparents are in heaven. Thank you for sharing this message of hope and assurance.”
The idea of falling from grace is from Galatians 5:4. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
When we read the Bible, the meaning is much clearer when we realize who the audience is that’s being written to. Jews and Gentiles in the area of Galatia were hearing about salvation through Jesus and were believing. Then some jacked up, Pharisaic teachers came insisting that to be assured they were saved, they must also live by the Old Covenant laws.
When law is added to grace, it’s no longer grace! That’s why the Holy Spirit wrote through the Apostle Paul that anyone who embraced the law as a way to be accepted by God had fallen from grace. They didn’t become “unsaved”. Some believed in the facts about Jesus as their Savior but were never saved. Yet, they went after the law as an additive. Those who were saved and started embracing law living, missed out on the only way to live the Christian life – by grace through faith alone.
Every person was severed from Christ when Adam sinned in the Garden. That’s when Adam and all of us died spiritually, being separated from the life of God. Anyone who believes that adding law to grace assures someone of being a Christian and going to heaven is in bondage. Living under law, you never know if you’ve done enough.
We can’t fall from grace if we’ve never been under grace. Another way of saying this is that those under grace who are truly in Christ cannot fall from grace, even if they are legalistic. They’re just miserable like I was embracing law living, and like so many we minister to at GLI.
Keep Growing in Grace,
Mark Maulding, President and Founder