A Call to Rise Above Backsliding

A Call to Rise Above Backsliding
Devotion by Pastor Alexander Redd
January 21, 2024

"You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace" (Galatians 5:4).

Have you ever felt lost and uncertain, causing you to look for validation and approval, like what the Galatians did? In his letter to the Galatians, Paul addressed this problem by warning them against seeking justification through the law and explaining the potential outcomes.

He said, "You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace" (Galatians 5:4).

What does it mean to fall away from grace? It doesn't mean that you lose your salvation. But it means you distance yourself from the essence of Christ's redemptive work by relying solely on your efforts and adherence to the law. In doing so, you turn away from the wellspring of grace freely given to you through the cross. This, in turn, undermines the power of God's provision, and you find yourself burdened by self-imposed expectations.

Backsliding confronts us all at some point in our spiritual journey. It refers to the gradual drifting away from the path of righteousness, losing sight of the grace that once filled your life. When you give more importance to following the law and being self-righteous, it can sometimes make you overlook the importance of God's grace. Backsliding is dangerous, hindering your growth, stifling your joy, and undermining your witness to others.

Listen, my friend, don't give up. Our Almighty God does not desire you to live in condemnation or separation from His grace. Instead, He extends an invitation to return, repent, and reaccept His unmerited favor. In 1 John 1:9, we read, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

God's grace is boundless, immeasurable, and unconditionally available to you if you humble, repent, and embrace Christ's sacrificial atonement for your sin. God's grace is not earned through your own efforts or adherence to the law as a means to receive salvation; instead, it is a gift freely given to you through faith in Christ.

As you acknowledge your shortcomings and turn to Him in humble surrender, your heart is restored, your spirits rejuvenated, and your faith rekindled. Focusing on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, is essential to prevent backsliding.

When you are in His presence, you will find the strength to resist legalism and self-sufficiency. You will find true freedom, forgiveness, and transformation in His grace. By staying connected with Him, His grace will empower you to lead a life that brings honor and glory to Him.

Therefore, it is time to stop relying on self-effort to be justified by the law and instead accept the boundless grace that is freely available to you. Guard your heart against the subtle temptations of legalism and self-righteousness and fix your eyes on Jesus, the trustworthy source of your justification and the embodiment of God's grace.

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