Message for February 15, 2015 from Pastor Jerry

“You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Gal. 5:4(NKJV)
During the many years I have been involved in the church and ministry I have heard many sermons preached and many references to this verse of scripture by many preachers and teachers. The problem is that most of them were not preaching what the verse says.
So many times it was said that this verse is talking about falling from grace back into a life of sin. This is in no way what Paul was talking about and it is clear if you read the context of this portion of scripture. The subject is about being justified by the keeping of the law.
A group of Jewish Christians had come to Galatia and were teaching the gentile believers that they must be circumcised to be saved. Paul wrote this epistle to address the problem this was causing the gentile believers. He was trying to get the Gentiles to understand that it is by believing in Christ and that alone that they were saved. It is never Christ plus anything including keeping the law.
The Gospel of Christ teaches that grace is the highest level of relationship with God. Grace is what sent Jesus to the cross to die for our sins. Paul is saying that trying to be right with God by keeping the law is futile. If you add any conditions other than grace to give you salvation,Paul says “you have fallen from grace.”
Salvation is not a mixture of grace and the law. It is by grace alone. “For by grace you saved have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9(NKJV) Christian salvation is not found in embracing a doctrine but by loving a person, Jesus Christ and accepting the fact that He died for your sins so you could have His righteousness.
So, do not lower yourselves by trying to add the law to grace. It is by grace and grace alone that you are saved. The life you live afterwards is not a “free-for-all” without accountability for disobedience. Paul says “Shall we sin that grace may abound?” “God forbid!” When one really has a saving experience with Jesus Christ, his “want to” will change.  He will not follow after sin because his new nature is not at peace doing so.  One can never live a life of perfect performance no matter how hard he tries.  The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin and makes us righteous.  Check this out-Romans 6:14. Quit trying so hard and rest in His peace.

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