A Conversation with the Apostle of Grace

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8)

Good morning, Paul. Our group stayed up late into the evening around the fire, buzzing with excitement about what you had to say to us yesterday. And we are filled with anticipation for what today will bring forth.

Several asked me if I would ask you to start this morning by explaining what you meant when you wrote the phrase “fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4)

Lamp-unto-my-feet“Ah, yes,” Paul replied, smiling as though he knew all along that one would mess with a lot of us down through the ages.

“You do understand, don’t you, that it comes down to the difference between Pride and Humility?”

Yes, we have discussed that already on our journey.

“Very well,” Paul continued, “then you know that a proud man is determined to live in the power of his own self will, to decide his own way, on his own terms – even if he is attempting to serve and please God.

“But a humble man places no confidence in the flesh; for he knows that Jesus is the true Vine and that we, apart from Him, can do nothing.

“Anyone who seeks to justify themselves with God on any terms other than those provided by God exclusively in and through our Lord Jesus is a man, or woman, who by necessity is “fallen from grace.” That is to say, they are outside the provision of Christ’s power. For Jesus will not empower anybody to succeed apart from God’s will.

“If you are determined to do your own thing, then the Lord will oblige you by stepping aside and leaving you to do it on your own. The expression, fallen from grace, does not mean “losing your salvation” (as some have erroneously concluded); rather, it means, quite frankly, “losing your sanity!”

“I have shown you that Grace is the power of Christ to do God’s will. If you are not interested in doing God’s will, then don’t expect the Lord to give you His grace to do your own thing. Are you crazy?! You must be!

“Consider what I wrote elsewhere, “For by grace (i.e., the power of Christ to do God’s will) are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8).

“Or this, one of my favorites, ‘For where sin did abound, grace (i.e., the power of Christ to do God’s will) did abound much more!'(Romans 5:20). You see? You and I are no longer slaves to sin, because a power greater than sin is now at work in and through us. It is the power of Christ – God’s Grace!

“Perhaps now you can see why I said, “I am what I am by the grace of God; and His grace (i.e., the power of Christ to do God’s will) given unto me was not in vain, for I labored more abundantly than they all. Yet it was not me, but the grace of God in me!”

“When I left my dear friends from Ephesus on the shores of the Aegean Sea, I said, “Brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace (i.e., the truth about the power of Christ to do God’s will), which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” (Act 20:32).

“I knew that the only way they would ever make it was by the grace of God. And, friends, that’s the only way you will ever make it also.

“Forgive me for going on like this,” Paul said, “but talking about Grace brings out the preacher in me!  But let me leave you with this — God has given every humble man and woman a measure of grace, the exact proportion of Christ’s power necessary for them to be who God created them to be, and to do whatever He has called them to do. Take time each day to make sure you are living in your measure.

“This was even true of our Lord Jesus in the days of His Incarnation. The grace of God was upon Him, empowering Him fully to live each day in the freedom and power of His Father’s presence and purpose. And He never once stepped outside that place of blessing.

“And now it’s your turn. You can do it, and God will do the same for you!

“May the grace of God be with you as you travel onward to that Great City you are seeking! For, but in a little while, you will enter its gates, never to leave! And I will see you there!”

And with these words Paul sends us on our way. We continue first thing in the morning.

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