|Volume 18 Number 3 March 2016||
It is inevitable that in life you will come across people who don’t like you very much, and you won’t like them very much either. These people will be a part of your daily life, but getting along with them is nearly impossible. What are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to handle ourselves in these situations?
First of all, we have to remember that we are children of God, and we have been commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:25-37). This includes not only loving those who love you, but praying for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:43-48). When was the last time you prayed for those you did not count as friends?
Secondly, take encouragement from the Master. Think about Jesus on the cross for a moment. Luke 23:34 records Jesus pleading with the Father to “forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” The Master not only taught it, but He lived it. Anytime we feel discouraged, or that we simply cannot do it, remember the One who died for you. Remember also why He died for you (Romans 5:6-8).
There are some who attempt to argue that it is impossible for a Christian to fall from grace. They will further argue that those who have fallen from grace have not in-fact fallen because they were never saved in the first place.
The problems with these lines of thinking are many, but space permits only a short response. Both of these problems can be answered by a single verse – Galatians 5:4. In this letter that Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia (1:2), he stated quite unequivocally that anyone who wants to be justified by the Law of Moses has been severed from Christ and has fallen from grace.
First of all, if it is impossible to fall from grace, was Paul wrong (and by extension, was God wrong, 2 Timothy 3:16)? Secondly, for something to be severed it first must have been attached, and to fall from somewhere necessarily implies being there previously. Falling from grace is a very real danger about which the New Testament warns over and over again. This is why it is imperative that we walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh (Galatians 5:16-24).