Daily Word of Grace # 104 (August 7, 2020)
There is a phrase used to describe someone who has messed up, really messed up, and as a result has “fallen from grace” or experienced a “fall from grace.” This means whatever favor or respect or prerogatives this person may have once enjoyed have all vanished and that person has become a persona non grata (a person without grace, a person not welcome). This phrase “fallen away from grace” is found in scripture, but in a way that is often misunderstood. The Apostle Paul warned, “You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4). In other words, it is not those who have messed up, even really messed up, who have “fallen away from grace” but rather those who trust in themselves for their salvation, those who “want to be justified by the law” as opposed to being justified by the grace of God in Jesus Christ. In other words, you may “fall from grace’ when it comes to other people, but not with God, because on Good Friday Jesus took the fall in your place—on Good Friday Jesus became a persona non grata in your place. Jesus did this for the whole world, a world for which he prayed from the cross, “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). It is that magnificent grace of God that saves us, for the gospel is eternally good news for every persona non grata.
Love and Prayers,