Continue in God’s Grace
Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
How were you first impacted by Jesus? Was it through the law or was it His grace in your life that touched your heart? We all began our relationship with the Lord because we were impacted by His love and grace. Let us then continue in that grace.
Paul warned the Galatians against turning back to the law after beginning in grace. He said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace [unmerited favor] of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6–7).
Paul takes this very seriously. He calls any gospel apart from the gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor) a perversion. Attempting to be justified by the works of the Ten Commandments is a perversion of the gospel of Christ.
Paul asked the church in Galatia point-blank, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh [self-effort]?" (Gal. 3:2–3).
Paul was saying to them, "You began by believing in His grace, why are you now depending on your works? That is foolishness! You should be continuing in His unmerited favor!” These are strong words by Paul.
Don’t start with grace and end up with the law. Don’t start with the new covenant, only to turn back to the old covenant! There are those who say that they are not justified by the law, but believe that they should keep the law for sanctification. My friend, both justification and sanctification come by our faith in Jesus' finished work alone.
When you are established in the new covenant of grace, you will experience a tremendous sense of confidence and security in Christ. When your confidence is in His unmerited favor and not your performance, you will not feel as if you are constantly jumping in and out of His favor and acceptance.
It is unfortunate that some believers have put themselves back under the old covenant without realizing it. Sometimes, they feel that God is on their side, but at other times, they feel that God is far away from them. Sometimes, they feel that God is satisfied with them, but at other times, they feel that God is angry with them.
All these feelings are based predominantly on their own evaluation of how they have performed, how they feel about themselves, and not how God sees them. Because there is no new covenant scriptural basis for such evaluations, they end up arbitrarily deciding if they are deserving of God’s blessings and favor in their lives or not, when in fact, they actually have access to His blessings all the time, simply because of Jesus and His finished work at the cross.
Today, think, talk and act knowing that it is not about you or your works—it is about Jesus and Him alone, and step out into His blessings for you!
This devotional is taken from the book 100 Days of Favor—Daily Readings from Unmerited Favor.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version ®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.