“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen grace.” (Galatians 5:4)
This is a favorite verse of those who believe you can lose your salvation. The verse is self-explanatory and teaches that any person who seeks to be justified by the law is not saved. Therefore, they are “fallen from grace,” literally meaning, they have rejected and have turned away from God’s grace. God's grace provides salvation only as a fee gift to be received by faith, and faith alone!
Galatians 5:4 teaches three distinct lessons:
1. No one in this verse has been saved, and then lost his salvation. How can one lose his salvation when he was never saved to begin with? The verse clearly begins with,
“Christ is become of no effect unto you…”
John 3:18 describes these unbelievers,
“He that believeth on him (Christ) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Therefore, Christ’s death and Resurrection were of no effect unto them because of their unbelief. They were lost and condemned.
2. The reason they did not accept Christ as their Savior was because they were self-righteous. They were trying to justify themselves by keeping the law. Romans 10:4 lets us know,
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
The Lord Jesus describes those in Luke 16:15 who are trying to merit eternal life with their own righteousness.
“And he (Christ) said unto them, Ye are they which JUSTIFY YOURSELVES before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”
3. Those described in Galatians 5:4, because of their self-righteousness, could not admit and agree with God that they were sinners, lost on their way to Hell. They rejected God’s word in Romans 3:23,
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
These self-righteous sinners were blinded to the truth in Romans 6:23,
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
Ephesians 2:8,9 states so clearly,
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
The response of those in our text to hearing that you are only saved by grace, was total rejection. It is described in Galatians 5:4 as “falling from grace.” In other words, they backed away from God’s grace; or, we might state it this way, they turned away from God’s grace and wanted nothing to do with it because of their self-righteousness. These could not lose their salvation, as they never had it to begin with.
Pentecostals are notorious for using Galatians 5:4 to support their claim of losing salvation. Catholicism has pawned off its imaginary Purgatory as a means of keeping you from losing your salvation, which actually denies the finished work of Christ on the cross for salvation. In John 19:30, Jesus’ last words were,
“…It is finished…”
To the thief on the cross Christ said,
“Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”