I've always liked the word "grace". It has a pretty sound to it, if there is such a thing. Growing up in the church and singing "Amazing Grace" for many years, we named our first child in honor of it.
We've witness famous preachers and celebrities make detrimental choices in their personal lives and have often said they fell from grace. I've made my share of unwise decisions over the years and had to deal with some of the same questions. However, I believe if you're a Christian, you don't fall OUT of grace but you fall INTO grace.
The book of Galatians is all about grace. Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia, which is modern day Turkey, and tried to get them deprogrammed from the spirit of religion they had been caught up in. False teachings had convinced the early Christians they had to keep the ritual laws of the Jesus. Not to mention, many of them were having a field day throwing personal attacks toward Paul, but Paul chose to exhibit grace.
Galatians 1 & 2 tells of the history of the gospel and the opposition of the gospel. The true gospel is always opposed and will always be offensive. That's one way you can tell if it's the true gospel. The gospel will always slap a non-believer in the face and the Christian in the behind!
Galatians 3 & 4 tells of the doctrine of the new covenant through Jesus Christ. Paul even tells them in Galatians 3:1, "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified!"
Galatians 5 & 6 tells how we can apply what Paul has shared in the previous chapters. Paul was encouraging them to get ahold of the freedom Jesus brings and to walk in that freedom.
Proverbs 24:16 says, "...though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity." The world doesn't understand grace. Why? Because they don't have it. You can't give away something that you don't have as a non-believer.
When I fell out of grace, I found out I've got help. There was no need to stay on the ground wounded and depressed. The crutches God uses to get you walking again is grace.
(Barbie will be the guest speaker and singer at the Woodville Methodist Church's women's conference Saturday.)