The greatest frustration in a Christian's life is not being able to get what they believe to work in their lives.
You've got people who have studied and believed that it's God's will to heal them. They know from scripture that Jesus bore our sicknesses and carried their pains and by His stripes they're healed, but they just can't get it to work.
They know they ought to be changing, to be transformed into the image of God but the only image they've become is the image of the person they were before salvation.
20 years later they're still the same; they haven't conquered their thoughts, or their desires that plague them. The same torments and fears are still there. They had a bit of a change after they got saved, but unfortunately the same sins that plague most people before they were saved seem to make their way back to take up residency once again.
Galatians 5:4 says that "You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace."
If you've got something tormenting you and you can't get free of it ? Christ is of no effect to you.
If you've got some sickness you can't shake. If you've got no joy or peace in your life, if you've got some habitual sin you can't get free of, then Christ has become of no effect in your life.
Simply put you no longer have contact with Christ in your heart and His divine nature and power is having no influence upon your life. When it's all of us and none of Christ we loose all connection to the saving power that is resident in our spirits.
Some people think falling from grace means you're not going to heaven, but it's really just reaching the place where Christ is of no effect to you.
In defining grace, we need to find out what grace is not.
1.Grace is not God's ability to overlook sin. Paul refuted that in Romans 6:1-2 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Grace is God's ability to get you out of sin.
2.Grace is not God's ability to accept you where you are, that's God's mercy that makes him able to do that.
The bible says about the New Testament, that mercy and grace have kissed.
While God can accept you as you are, His grace becomes your ability to change.
3.Grace is not unmerited favor. If I were to buy you a car as a gift, you wouldn't tell your friends that I gave you unmerited favor. You'd tell them I bought you a car. Although the gift was unmerited favor, that's not what it is, that's how it came to you.
Grace is the divine influence that works on your heart to conform you to the image of His Son.
Dustin Gray publisher and author of Christian Bible Study Manuals. For free local church publishings please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.aussiechristians.com or http://www.publisherhouse.com