It is common knowledge that a perfect conclusion can only be guaranteed when set rules are followed. For instance, in science, a six-step approach is employed, that is, question, research, hypothesis, experiment, observation/ data analysis and conclusion. Similarly, literature folks explore such things as setting, diction, tone, mode, etc, to determine the style of a writer and draw out the themes and lessons from his work.
It’s not any different with the word of God…
When it comes to the bible, believers often assume understanding without paying attention to either the intent of the writer or rules of interpretation. We have all committed this sacrilege at one point or the other. We would often hide it under the guise of the Holy Spirit being our personal teacher. On the contrary, the bible advocates scholarship for the believer too. “Study to show yourself approved, give attendance to reading , meditate upon these things” , are all apostolic instructions.
One misunderstood statement in the bible is FALLEN FROM GRACE. Normally, we would assume that to fall from grace is to fall into sin. I once held this notion also. However, looking carefully into the scriptures, we arrive at a different conclusion.
The statement can be found in the letter of Paul to the Galatians. The writer sets out to achieve his purpose with a down-to-business tone from chapter one. His audience were attempting a grave thing. Some persons were perverting the gospel of Christ amongst them, trying to distort the message which is of GRACE with the teaching that the people had to continue with the obligations and rituals of the LAW to be saved or maintain their salvation.
Thus, in Galatians 5:4, Paul stated unequivocally, “you are become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by the law; you have fallen from grace” . To “fall from” is to fall out of one’s position, or to be driven out of one’s course.
Paul spent 6 chapters strongly making a defence for the gospel of grace and asserting vehemently that the purpose of the law of Moses was not to give salvation or help men keep salvation. In doing this, he asks pertinent questions, and makes weighty statements: “By the works of the law, no flesh shall be justified”; Galatians 2:16, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing of faith? ”; “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?”; (Galatians 3:1-6)Any attempt to be right with God by works of the law misses the whole point. The purpose of the law was not to give salvation. Click To Tweet
He further established that any attempt to be right with God by works of the law misses the whole point. Abraham, the father of the Jews was declared righteous by Faith, not by works of the law. Moses the custodian of the law, also followed suit.
A few Things to note about the Law of Moses
- It was given to the Jews. Many nations including Africa were not bound by the law. However, when men who are excluded attempt to live by the law, they are bound by it. Therefore, the attempt of an American to prove or commend himself to God by his self-righteous works is very similar.
- To live by the law, you must obey all. You must be faithful in all . Recall that there are laws that forbid wearing a cloth with different materials, practicing mixed cropping etc. Deuteronomy 22:9-11
- The Law was a tutor ordained to manifestly prove to man that he could never be right with God by efforts, thereby preparing man to receive the abundant grace that was to come through Christ.
You must settle it in your heart that your acceptance to God will never be because of your rituals or works. He accepted us in Christ once we received Christ’s propitiation for sins. Ephesians 1:6. This is to the end that boasting is excluded. Everything God gives is by grace. He gives freely.
We must note that God’s standards will forever be higher than ours, and any attempt to meet his standards outside of Christ, will forever fall short. If he marks sin, can anyone stand?You must settle it in your heart that your acceptance to God will never be because of your works. He accepted us in Christ once we received Christ’s propitiation for sins.This is to the end that boasting is excluded Click To Tweet
Therefore, Paul admonishes us in Galatians 5:1 to make sure we stay in the liberty we have in Christ, and not be tied up again in slavery to the law. To embrace living by the law is to set aside the grace of God; if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. Galatians 2:21
In the end, there will be rewards for our good works here on earth, but God alone would receive the glory for our salvation.