For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
—Galatians 5:4 (NLT)
If you try to make yourself right with God by keeping the law, Galatians 5:4 affirms, you cut yourself off from grace. You have actually fallen away from God's grace. Yet how many believers attempt to earn His grace—trying to win the love of Jesus by working to be good enough? They believe God only loves them when they measure up. They forget that "God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8 (NLT).
Falling away from grace is falling back into the law. If you believe you are judged according to the law, you must live up to each of its precepts. You can't miss one. Jesus was God's answer to man's inability to make himself righteous by the law. Believing in Jesus is the only way we can be made righteous. The grace of Jesus has nothing to do with what we do. We can't earn His grace. Grace is His gift—His unearned favor. Without the mercy of Jesus, the law would forever condemn. Man would forever strive to save himself. But with Jesus, the law of the Old Testament was fulfilled by His grace. The law which judged what you do was replaced by what you couldn't earn—the unconditional love of Jesus on the Cross.
When we make the law more significant than the grace of Jesus, we make the blood of Jesus of less importance. We belittle His grace. And wrong-thinking about law and grace clouds our thoughts. We strive to win His love instead of resting in the gift He has given us. Worry and fear intensify. Peace is elusive. We become focused on what we need to achieve instead of His grace. When we fail, we either believe that God is not good or that we have done something wrong to stop His love for us. Our focus is not on His love that pursues us all the days of our lives. It is on our own failure.
There is a difference in living for Christ when you have nothing to prove and living for Christ because you have to prove yourself. When you live for Christ, knowing you aren't judged on your performance, you pour your heart into His calling. When you live for Him, believing that He judges your performance, then you fail in your understanding of His love for you.
God loves you. Jesus died for you and made you right with God. Jesus made you His responsibility. Quit striving to win His love. There was nothing more He could have given than His life. You are no longer under the law. You are now under grace.
© 2020 Lynn Lacher