GRACE: NOT BY MAN
Standing Fast in Liberty – Galations 5:1-6
Verse 1 – The liberty Christians have in Christ is often attacked; as it was in Paul’s day; so too in our own day. There are many who want to attach requirements for salvation way beyond grace.
“Stand fast” to be stationary; to persevere; in this care stay put concerning the matter of grace. One is not saved by the keeping of rituals and laws; but completely contrary to them. Yet, let us not think that this freedom is a freedom to sin; it is rather freedom to live for GOD, through His Son Jesus.
“Liberty” freedom from sin’s condemnation, and the law’s condemnation. Freedom to live as we should not as we please.
Verse 2 – “If ye be circumcised…” for the purpose of obtaining salvation; securing God’s favor, then, “Christ will profit you nothing”.
Any requirement outside of grace through faith for God’s favor is a human work, ritual, and a curse to the freedom we have in Christ.
When an individual is resting in their own efforts, rather than Christ and grace, for favor with God; then there is no gain for them in Christ.
Verses 3-4 – When one is inclined to work for the favor of God, then they are “a debtor to do the whole law” to obey it to the letter, thus be judged and condemned by it. If one lives by the law they are still indebted to God.
By grace through faith in Christ all the sin debt has been paid. There is nothing more that can be done to earn the favor of God.
“Christ is become of no effect unto you…” Grace or favor which is earned is not grace, but a debt. God owes us no debt. He owes no one anything. To earn grace would cancel the work of the cross of Christ, and grace would be a debt which God owes to those who earn it.
“Ye are fallen from grace” this is a popular verse for the armenian who believes one can lose their salvation that is by grace. Paul, of course, is speaking to the legalizers who made the law a requirement for salvation. They had departed from grace, thus, were probably not recipients of it.
Verses 5-6 – “We through the Spirit” the Spirit of God within those who have received His grace “wait” with full expectation and confidence; “the hope of righteousness by faith”. “Righteousness” being the declaration by God, because of the cross of Christ, that we are “Just” before Him; without the deeds of the law.
The works of the law can do nothing compared to the cross of Jesus Christ. “Faith” the assurance based on the promises of God; and the conviction that God will bring all to pass that He has said. “Which worketh by love” effective, fervent, accomplishing much by Godly love; unconditional, undeserved, unmerited favor = GRACE.
-Tim A. Blankenship