Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.” I want to point out to you the word grace there, it has several different definitions, but one of the oldest definition around is; unearned/undeserved favor. If you’ll study the word favor in the Greek it’s actually the same word as grace in the Bible. When you have favor with someone it means that you’re allowed to come into that person’s presence. As children of God, we have favor with God and have been given access into His presence and it’s not because of anything that we’ve done (works) it’s a gift, or in other words, it’s free!
Galatians 5:4 says, “you who try to be justified by works have fallen from grace.” Many in the church world have this backwards, they think if you don’t work, if you don’t do this or you don’t do that then you’ve fallen from grace. Galatians 5:4 makes it very plain, “you that try to be justified (or made right with God) by what you do (works, law, performance), you are the ones that have fallen from grace. Remember Ephesians 2:8-9 shows us that we aren’t saved by our works, but a strange thing seems to happen in the church world once a person gets saved, they think that the way they stay saved is by their works. Wrong! Child of God, your works didn’t save you and you don’t stay saved by your works. The blood of Jesus saved you and you’ll stay saved by the blood of Jesus, your works don’t pertain to any of it! Does that mean we don’t work? No! We work but it’s different, we don’t work to be justified, we work because we are justified. In other words, I don’t walk in the love of God to be right with God, I walk in the love of God because I am right with God! I don’t live by faith to be right with God, I live by faith because I am right with God! Do you see the difference? It’s a very thin line but if you’re trying to do right in order to be right with God, then you’ve fallen out of grace (God’s favor). We have to get past that hurdle and understand that we are saved by the grace of God; that we have favor with God through the blood of Jesus and because “God so loved the world.” God loves the world; God saw me and He saw you and in spite of all our faults He loved us, and He still does!
You might be thinking to yourself at this point, “Well, Pastor I’ve heard of Christian’s who have backslidden and are on their way to Hell!” Do you know the term backslide is not even in the New Testament? The reason is because it was an Old Testament terminology that applied to the Jews. The Jews were never born-again, they were actually called servants of God, whereas, we are sons/daughters of God. Just because someone has gotten off into sin doesn’t mean that the grace of God and the blood of Jesus stopped working in their life. Folks, it’s just as real ten years down the road as the day you first accepted it. Maybe your feelings have changed and you’re not aware of God’s presence, but He swore, “I will never leave you, I’ll never forsake you, even to the ends of the earth.” You’re born-again; you’ve been taken out of the world, now you’re His sons/daughters, and it’s all by the grace of God, not by our works!