What are the Consequences of Falling from Grace?

humpty_fallingI am so glad the book of Galatians is in the Bible because we can learn a lot from other people’s mistakes.

The Galatians lost their liberty in Christ by allowing themselves to be enslaved to the yoke of the law. In their case the issue was circumcision, but for us it could be anything that puts a price tag on grace—church rules, confession of sins, the spiritual disciplines, whatever. I’m not against these things. I’m saying there is nothing we can do to add or improve upon Christ’s perfect work.

We stand by grace alone.

The Galatians had a different view. Some guys with long faces and long knives came preaching mixture and the Galatians bought it hook, line, and sinker. But does this mean the Galatians were now unsaved, under condemnation, and hell-bound? No. Falling from grace does not mean falling out of the kingdom.

“You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (Gal 5:4)

The NIV Bible says the Galatians alienated themselves from Christ. Other translations say they became estranged, separated, severed, and cut off. These are serious words with serious implications, but they do not imply condemnation.

Who cut them off? It wasn’t Christ.

Who did the separating? Not Jesus.

As always, he remains the thoroughly faithful husband who keeps us safe while promising that no one, not even ourselves in a moment of stupidity, can snatch us out of his hands.

Paul never tells the Galatians, “You are losing your salvation.” Instead, he says, “You are indulging the flesh” (Galatians 5:13). They were becoming carnal, biting and devouring one another in vicious arguments. The danger is not that God will destroy them, but that “you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:15).

Remove grace from any community and you will soon have quarrels, strife, bickering, manipulation, envy, hatred, and all the other works of the flesh that Paul lists in Galatians 5:19–21. But none of these things will send you to hell.

When Paul reminds the Galatians that “they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom,” he’s saying, “Those who belong to Christ shouldn’t act like those who don’t.”

If Christians were kicked out of the kingdom every time they walked after the flesh, heaven would be empty.

[Extracted from chapter 19, “What happens to Christians who stray?” in The Gospel in Twenty Questions]

40 Comments on What are the Consequences of Falling from Grace?

  1. Yes, I really like that!
    Yes, it’s been so easy once, in years past of our humpty-dumpty days to forget Christ perfect work in us and try to add to ourselves by our “good workings” and “circumcisions”.
    Yes, we stand by grace alone!

  2. It’s an unspeakable joy to know I am saved by God’s wondrous grace alone and that regardless of my foolish, fickle heart nothing will change that. It’s grace from first to last. And yet in this week sermon, Pastor Joseph Prince whom you have praised in this blog, clearly stated that the predestination of the elect applies to those God “foreknew” would decide to follow Christ. That makes salvation man’s choice, not grace. 

    • And yet you can not make a choice to receive a gift until the gift (grace) is offered
      Its the Grace train from start to finish, its man choice to board the train or not.
      Without the train, you may decide you want to go, but you have no way to get there.

      • john battah // November 12, 2014 at 7:58 am //

        if a man boards the train it is all of grace not human decision and if he refuses to board it is all his responsibility

    • God foreknew who would accept his gift of righteousness. Salvation IS mans choice! We can choose to accept or reject the gift of Grace. Deuteronomy 30:19 tells us that their are two choices we can make. Life or Death. Then we are given the advice to choose life. God doesn’t send people to the lake of fire for the death of our souls. We choose to go their when we choose death. He gives us free will and then the choice. Jesus died once for all.
      Gods gift of Grace is offered to all.
      It is absolutely our choice weather or not to accept it.
      FYI,Grace and Salvation are the same thing.

  3. thanks, spooky,how someone out there tells you I need some encouragement

    • Roshan Easo // March 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm // Reply

      Yes. Spooky! Definitely spooky! 😉 I like the reader’s comments as well. It’s not just Paul anymore, it’s the whole gang! 😀

  4. While it may be true that one’s eternal destiny is not effected by mixing grace with self imposed performance orientation or any other addition to Jesus plus nothing equals everything-. While this may be true the fact remains that ” the basic principles of the world” that one finds themselves in bondage to when we do this are not very nice to say the least. They are are literally “Stoichia” – the “elementary sprits of the world”. These Satanic task masters will bring such defeat, bondage to sin, obsessive compulsive behaviour, emotional disorders of every kind, mental torment, psychological torment and broken interpersonal relationships that you will feel like you are in Hades. ( Ask me how I know this.)These elementary spirits of the world are God’s “tutors” and “guardians” to drive us back from the forbidden territory of believing the lie that we can secure or maintain the favor and blessings of God by anything other than the grace of Christ alone.

  5. And having said that- you do not want to be the one who is bringing the teaching that insists that one must add to the grace of Christ alone in order to secure or maintain salvation (which includes every divine blessing not merely eternal security-reconciliation, forgiveness, blessings, favor, protection, provision, divine presence, spiritual gifts, miracles etc).
    Here’s why you don’t want to be that person:
    But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:8, 9 NASB)
    I believe the word is “anathema”! I’ll let you do the entomology of that word and decide what it means. There’s only one thing worse than living in bondage to the elemental spirits of the world- that’s being anathema.

  6. When Paul reminds the Galatians that “they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom,” he’s saying, “Those who belong to Christ shouldn’t act like those who don’t.”

    Have serious doubt’s “shall not inherit” is the same as shouldn’t act like that. When you inherit something you receive it, when you don’t inherit something you don’t receive it. Sounds more like they shall not receive the kingdom. It is has gotten to the point that some say even molester are saved as long as they trust Jesus for their righteousness.

    • I guess my question here is this; is inheriting the kingdom going to heaven or is it ruling and reigning today in the abundance of Christ? The meek shall inherit the earth, not heaven. The kingdom is the kings dominion; that is what we are inheriting. Eternal life starts today.

  7. Amen! 🙂

  8. “Some guys with long faces and long knives came preaching mixture and the Galatians bought it hook, line, and sinker.” I love that line. I’m so glad about Galatians too. Blessings.

  9. The consequence is what we see, Christians and churches have become the greatest barrier preventing God from achieving his purposes.The Gospel is peverted, and Jesus is sold.

  10. Excellent, Paul. Isn’t it odd what we commonly think when we hear the words “fall from grace”? Certainly not this…. and yet what you share is exactly how the Bible uses the term “fallen from grace”. I also appreciated the “How to Walk After the Flesh” article that was linked. Right on.

  11. Grace offered, is not Grace. So nobody can boast.

    • Great Phil it is something everyone has but we can choose to live in it or we can live in our own kingdom.

  12. Michael Jenkins // March 29, 2014 at 6:59 am // Reply

    Thanks for the encouragement, this is a very good scripture. Grace is amazing, it pulls me up when I am down.

  13. I agree Michael. It’s reigning today. In this evil age. A peculiar people to reveal Christ. Tomorrow says, every knee shall bow and call on the name of The Lord. His mercy is limited in this age. To call out his church. Romans tells us not to get prideful. He gives grace to the humble. Lake – to pour, to pour out. Fire – to purify. It’ a picture of Pentecost.

  14. Grace enables God to show us ourselves, we learn about ourselves without being condemned, we can only change what we see.If there is no acceptance of grace we are blind and cannot see, and cannot change. We only hear the wrong voice.

  15. When Paul reminds the Galatians that “they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom,” he’s saying, “Those who belong to Christ shouldn’t act like those who don’t.”

    At first I struggled with this statement (part of this post). But, in reading your book “The Gospel in Ten Words”, chapter 9, the Holy Spirit opened my mind about what you are trying to help us understand. (it felt like a wave of “aha” came over me, really)
    That if we belong, then act like it. We are not zombies. We have to choose to do the things that enable us to thrive in our new life in Christ. We have to choose to let go of the things that are hindering, interfering, holding us back, from our new way of life in Christ. And because we are not zombies, choosing will not be easy, or automatic, at first. But as with anything that matters, successful learning comes from persistent effort.
    In this chapter, my understanding is, after being “born again”, shouldn’t is where you start, but wouldn’t is where you are headed. Praise God for loving us enough to provide a LIght, so we can find our Way.

  16. This weekend heard a sermon saying change is a choice , the pastor uses the woman caught in adultery as an example. The problem is that the woman did not choose to change nor did she repent, she only looked into Jesus,s eyes and was in his prescence.And I believe she was changed. We cannot simply say it is a choice we by nature do the things we don’t want to do and don’t do the things we want to. God changes us, if we do not hide, and we only hide when we fall from grace.

  17. So just to add do not be preached into a difficult or impossible task.

  18. earl here: I like it Chris, so what your saying is the more you hang with him the more he rubs of on you.

  19. Elijah Onyema // April 6, 2014 at 1:37 am // Reply

    Grace is power, and we receive the grace of God through faith the bible (Rom 12:3). Because it enable us to do with ease what we could never do on our own without struggle. (1 cor 15:9-10). Then the victory we need every single day of our life will come by the grace of God. Note child of God, grace speaks of the generous love of God in his gift of the savour. Living by grace is a life of gratitude and love. Consequences of failling from grace is Eternal Dealth, in otherwords, failling from grace is like a building wihtout a fence any madman can packed in there. So abide in his grace, for us to live is christ…

  20. (1) Grace is our teacher: it teaches us how to live Godly in this world (Titus 2:11-13). (2) Grace is our helper to help us through in times to need (Heb. 4:16). (3) Grace call the throne of throne of grace not throne of judgement (Heb. 12:28)

  21. Donna Crosby // April 8, 2014 at 1:25 am // Reply

    I have been falling from Grace and didn’t even realize it! What can a Christian do if they attend a church where the message is mixed ( law and good works + grace ) ? The sermons are becoming unbearable for me to listen to.

  22. Get Out! Or teach The Doctrine Of Peace to the people. You should never sit in a church that mixes old covenant and new. All things are made new. Rightly divide the word of truth…Law verses grace…Old and new covenant. Paul says if the do not practice the gospel of peace(Grace) to mark them and don’t go around them. There are going to be many people ashamed, who read their bible and think they are super saved but they never rightly divided the old and new covenant scripture and truly accepted the gospel of Peace. Peace between God and Man That Christ restored.
    It Is Finished! Thank You Jesus!!

  23. Falling from grace is like the cripple at the pool, our pride may lead us to say we got into the water on our own, people who do this have the danger that something worse may happen to them.

  24. I feel Donnas pain.Not sure that i have the answer….but will share some of my thoughts that hopefully will help.First of all,dont worry about “finding another church”.You will be threatened with “dont forsake the assembling”,but that scripture is not about “going to church”…its simply about having some time with other believers.Today,christians have almost made a “god” of the local church.We ARE the Church and much of what goes on at our churches is opposed to grace.Sadly many of our “leaders” are those whom scripture says we should oppose and refute(Titus 1 and2).Of course attending church is of utmost importance to them as their agenda and livelihood are helped.(If they really got a handle on grace,i dont believe many would still have ministry as their occupation).Scripturally,such a thing would be the exception rather than the rule…though in our day,it has become “accepted” as the norm.Anyhow,continue to do what you are doing,going to this blog.Study the Word and pray for Gods guidance.Spend time with other believers when you can and i am sure you will lift them up.You are free in Christ.Stand firm and do not allow yourself to be burdened by those who would impose law on you.I realize this is several months since your comment,but hopefully will still help you or someone else.Praying for u.

    • Donna Crosby // July 10, 2014 at 1:16 am // Reply

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words! You have helped to give me a sense of peace. After a lengthy time of prayer, I felt led to leave the church I was attending because of adverse physical reactions I was having while listening to the legalistic preaching and teaching there. I believe I have been deceived by the adversary and so have millions of Christians who have grown up in the mixture/balanced gospel. It is by divine revelation that the Holy Spirit has revealed the true gospel of grace to me and I have experienced being born again, again. I am also encouraged by Philippeans 3:13-14
      Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
      Since God has led me out of Babylon, He will also lead me into a congregation that stands on the foundation of grace. May Christ receive all the glory! Hallelujah

  25. Help me understand this verse. Gal 3:21, I understand that the law cannot give life but I don’t understand how the law is not against promises of God. Col 2:14 says that the handwritting of ordaniences was against us … a little different than Gal 3:21 but it does lead me to say, I don’t understand what Paul’s point was.

    • John, i agree it does seem confusing.As i see it,as i re-read Gal.3,the law(here being the Mosaic law),is not against the promises as it helped bring them to fruition. For 1500 years the Israelites utterly failed in their attempt to keep the law and as verse 24 says,it was to lead them to Christ.When Paul writes in Col.2 that it was against us,it was against the utter inability of man to attain righteousness through law living.This was all written down 2000 years ago.Today,men attempting to live by the law rather than the Spirit is foolish and IS against many scriptures that warn NOT to do that,as no one,Jew or Gentile is under the supervision of the law.

  26. Hi Paul
    I think your sentence, ” When Paul reminds the Galatians that ” they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom,” he’s saying, ” Those who belong to Christ shouldn’t act like those who don’t. ” nails it.
    Not only should they not act like it but there is NO need to act like it- we have been set free -so be free!
    I notice you say remind – the NIV unhelpfully says “warns” (gal 5.21)
    Arnold Fruchtenbaum argues ” inherit the kingdom of God ” is better translated “Enjoy God’s rule in their life”
    Since we to a greater or lesser extent DO enjoy God’s hand on our life this statement cannot be a warning to us.
    Keep bringing the kingdom!

    • In respone to my previous reply I meant it can’t be a warning to us about losing our eternal salvation.
      We can and do lose moment by moment appreciation of all our salvation gives us now.

  27. The words “falling from Grace” paint a picture of Grace being above something.The something that it is above is the Law. It is greater than the Law. We don’t fall from Grace when we sin. We fall from grace when we jump down to the Law/try to earn our Father’s righteousness. The problem is that righteousness is a gift not a reward. Romans 4:14 tells us that we can’t see the benefits of our Father’s Grace if we try too earn it.

  28. My brother can I ask you something. You said in your intro confession of sins in your intro. Are you saying that their is no need to confess our sins. Could you explain this to me please, as I have always been taught to confess my sin according to 1st. John 1: 9 Thank you and God bless you, marie.

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