(Not so Random Thoughts from Brent Long, Consultant, Long On Life.)
I’m not really sure I have the answers, of course, but I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately.
From the Bible, Galatians 5:4
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (KJV)
You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. (ESV)
Culturally, it simply means to fall from a position of high esteem.
So here’s my dilemma… From a human perspective, I believe it is truly possible. There are those that we (humans) elevate to positions of high esteem based on any number of differing factors (that would take up way too much space to list here). However, at the root of this list is an overriding discovery that most of our human esteem is based on performance, appearance, etc. So when an athlete fails to live up to his or her billing, or when an entertainer commits a disastrous, career-ending gaffe, or when a husband and father fails and falters in his fidelity and leadership, we can agree that these might all be examples of a “fall from grace.” That’s not my question.
My question is this… Does Grace ever let go of us humans? Grace, in the human form of Jesus Christ came busting through the Creation He created to put on our sinful flesh, walk around amongst us, take on all of our sin, die for us, rise on the third day defeating the grave, and return to the Father having completed the most GRACEFUL act of GRACE the world has ever seen. He did all that to set us free from the sin that so easily entangles us. The Love of God is the Grace of God! Can anything separate us from the Love of God? According to His Word, nothing can… Nothing! (Romans 8:37-39)
So what does that mean for us?
No clue… but what I am realizing and learning is this: That for me to experience the true Grace of God, I might need to fall from the lofty, human pedestal that I placed myself on in my lifetime of striving to gain esteem from fellow humans, so that the Love of Christ (His Grace) can rescue me from the law (of legalism) that I have forced myself to live under… even after He set me free.
I have not been rescued by a weak god. Rather, I have been rescued by a loving warrior God Who was and is willing to go to the depths of hell to find me hiding there, completely helpless in my self-reliant, legalistic, law-abiding, performance-enhancing life. Whether or not there was any real intention to gain human esteem on my part (I am self-deceived like all humans), God’s Grace had already set me free from that life, but I had not embraced it or rested in it. And that life started to choke me to death. But God’s Grace showed up stronger than ever and rescued me all over again… even though I fell from grace, humanly speaking.
Thank You, Jesus. Thank You! You will never allow me to fall so far away that Your Grace can’t or won’t retrieve me. There’s no way that I can fall from Your Love and Grace. Thank You, Lord.