To fall from grace is to turn back from the gospel we have understood and to start depending on some human effort to be the basis of our acceptance before God.
Scripture: Galatians 5:1-15
- Christian freedom is not libertarian anarchy. It is freedom to be a servant of God.
- Freedom in Christ is the only true kind of freedom that exists.
- Freedom has always been an interest of humanity, since most people in history have endured some form of slavery.
- Through Moses, God called on Pharaoh to set His people free that they might serve Him.
- For the Christian to desire to return to slavery is to reject the friendship of the God who has freed us (cf. James 2:23; Genesis 15:6).
- Today freedom has come to mean uncommitted, irresponsible sexual relationships, the right to kill unborn humans, and other forms of slavery to sin.
- Freedom from God and His requirements is not true freedom.
- Freedom is to practice love to God and neighbour by faith.
- Those who are truly free are those delivered from their sin by God.
- To turn back to slavery to sin is to fall from grace (Galatians 5:4). Falling from grace refers to those who turn back from the gospel they have understood and depend on some human effort as the basis of their acceptance before God.
- The Galatians considered circumcision the primary act which made them part of God’s covenant family.
- Christ’s work on the cross is of no advantage to you if you depend on the external acts of the law.
- Paul opposes circumcision as it was being practiced as a form of false faith intended to save the person.
- We are called to freedom, so we must reject pagan practices such as self-castration and other acts of self-mutilation of the body which is the temple of God.
- We are set free not for self-indulgence but that we might serve one another in love.
- Holiness simply means to be set apart to God; it does not entail a monastic rejection of God’s good gifts and temporal comforts.
- As believers, our freedom involves our relationship to God, to His Word, and to others. Out of delight in and love for God, we willingly desire to serve Him (Leviticus 19:18).
- To love is to fulfill the law (Romans 13:8-10).
- The Protestant Reformation was in part a rejection of external rites and superstitions of the church, which were being used as tools of political oppression.
- The teaching of gospel freedom is a threat to tyrants.
- Israel rejected the freedom God had granted them (Hebrews 3:1-4:13).
- We are free not to indulge our flesh but to inherit the nations.
- We have the real presence of the Holy Spirit with us to set us free; with freedom comes the responsibility to boldly go to the nations and bring them to Christ.
- Contrast Christian versus worldly concepts of freedom.
- What does it mean to “fall from grace”?
- What does it mean to live “free in Christ?”
- What should be the fruit of our freedom as Christians?
- How does gospel freedom empower missions?