Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
God’s grace is His favor toward you. Mary was called ‘highly favored’ because she conceived the One who revealed God’s grace to the whole world – Christ Jesus.
God’s favor comes packaged in blessing, healing, deliverance, forgiveness, righteousness, provision, transformation – and all these come through the finished work of Jesus upon the cross. And that means there is nothing that you can do to earn this favor – it can only be received as a free gift.
Therefore to “fall from grace” as Paul says in Galatians 5:4, is to believe that you can earn God’s favor or righteousness through your own good works, or, that you deserve it because of your obedience. However, neither is the case.
But this was the “trap” the Galatian church fell into – they were being deceptively led back into a gospel that came through their good works, or the “Law”. So Paul is bringing some stern correction to them.
The parable of the lost son communicates the reality of who you are in Christ. The son, although lost, was still a son and his identity would always come from his father. And it is the same with you. Your true identity was established in the garden when our heavenly Father created humanity. Although we became “corrupted and lost” because of Adam, Christ restored ALL of our rights as sons of God upon that cross, when we have faith in Him.
So you don’t have to work to earn your identity as a child of God:
- You walk rightly before God not to earn righteousness, but to work out that righteousness through good works (Eph 2:8-10)
- You serve God’s house not to earn righteousness, but to become like Christ (Matt 25:40; Mark 10:45)
- You tithe into God’s house not to earn righteousness, but to prioritize God as first in your life. (Mal 3:10; Matt 6:33)
By your own works, Christ has no effect or power in your life. But by grace, through faith the power of God will always be effective – it comes through believing who you are in Christ and what He has done upon the cross for you.