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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

Falling From Grace Article No. 6

C.H. Cayce

May 22nd, 1930

We promised again last week that we would try to write some more on this question this week. This week we will begin with a text that is sometimes used to try to prove that a child of God may so fall away as to be finally lost. That text is (Galatians 5:4), but we want to quote beginning with (verse 1): Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. If the text here quoted teaches that a child of God may perish in eternal torment, then it contradicts the language of the Saviour used in our article last week, recorded in (John 10:28) “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.”  Does the inspired apostle contradict the plain statement of the Son of  God? Did the Lord Himself make this plain, positive and unequivocal statement, and then inspire His apostle to write something which contradicts that statement which He had Himself made? Unless the Lord has done this, then the language in (Galatians 5:4) cannot possibly teach that a child of God can be finally lost, or that a child of God may finally land in eternal torment. For one to prove that Paul meant to teach such a thing in this text, he must first prove that the Son of God told a falsehood in the statement above quoted, or that He was mistaken in what He said. Does Paul contradict the teaching, or the plain statement, of the Saviour?

Certainly not. Then he does not teach that a child of God may perish in torment, or be finally lost in eternal perdition. Then what is the teaching of the apostle in this text? In the preceding chapter he is treating of the difference between the law service and gospel service. He calls attention to the bondwoman and the freewoman. He says: {(Galatians 4:21-26)} Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. This shows very clearly that the apostle had been treating in chapter four of the two covenants, and that Agar represented the law covenant, and he plainly says that the child of Agar was born after the flesh; and that covenant was a covenant of works. Isaac was the son of the freewoman, who represented the new covenant, or the covenant of  grace, and he was a child of promise. “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” -(Galatians 4:28). This clearly teaches that the children of Jerusalem, the new covenant, the children of God, are children of promise. The old covenant, or law service, with all its rites and ceremonies, has been done away.

The law service served its purpose; but when Christ came it was all fulfilled in Him, and was then done away. “Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” -(Galatians 4:30). Some Judaizing teacher had been among the Galatian brethren and had taught them that they must be circumcised and keep the law in order to be saved-that they could not reach heaven without this. That was a false doctrine which they had imbibed from some false teacher. By embracing that doctrine they had departed from the doctrine of grace. The doctrine of grace, as taught by the Lord and His inspired apostles, is that sinners are saved in heaven, prepared for the service of God here, and prepared and qualified to live with God in heaven, alone by His grace, without works of any kind. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” -(II Timothy 1:9). The Galatians had departed from that doctrine of grace; and in that way they had fallen from grace. They had not fallen from eternal life. They had not ceased to be the children of God. The apostle declares them to be the children of promise in (Galatians 4:28), and being the children of promise they were children of God, and God's children “shall never perish,”  though they depart from the doctrine of grace. There are many children of God who are taught a false doctrine and made to believe the same here in this world; but believing a false doctrine does not cause one to cease to be a child of God. Suppose Mr. Smith is the father of a boy we will call John, and suppose John has been taught that Mr. Jones is his father, and John believes that. Does that make John become a son of Mr. Jones? Does it cause John to cease to be the son of Mr. Smith?

Any sensible person knows that it does not. Neither does it cause one to cease to be a child of God and become a child of Satan because he has been led to believe something that is not true. Those Galatian brethren had been led to believe that they were justified by the works of the law, and in turning from the doctrine of grace and believing in the doctrine of works in order to eternal life, they fell from grace. The old law worship and service had been done away, and these Galatian brethren had been taught the truth of gospel worship and service, and for a time had rejoiced in the same. In verse 1 the apostle admonishes them to stand fast in the glorious liberty of gospel worship and service, and to be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage-the bondage of law worship and service. To be entangled in law worship and service is to discard the work of the blessed Son of God. If we have to observe the rites and ceremonies of law service in order to be saved in heaven, then the death of Christ accomplished nothing-it was wholly unnecessary. We could be saved in heaven by observing the law just as well without the death of Christ as with it. That doctrine utterly denies the work of Christ. It utterly denies the doctrine of grace. God's children may, and sometimes do, deny the Lord and His doctrine, and thus, after having believed the truth, fall from grace and from their steadfastness. When they do that the Lord denies them the blessings He has promised His faithful and obedient children. Though He does this, “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” -(II Timothy 2:13). For a child of God to perish in eternal torment the Saviour would have to deny Himself; He would be compelled to deny the efficacy of His work; and this He cannot do. Therefore, a child of God cannot perish in eternal torment. This truth will stand through all ages. What we desire and need is the evidence, the assurance, that we are a child of God. Sometimes the evidences that are laid down in God's word (or some of them) are a sweet comfort and consolation to us; and we are glad of the assurance that though we should be deceived by some false teacher and led by him to believe a false doctrine, yet the Lord will not-cannot-deny Himself; and though we should lose the comfort here that may be enjoyed in believing the truth, yet we shall not lose the joys of the heavenly world and the glory of that heavenly home.

This is a consolation and comfort to us. The doctrine of God our Saviour is comforting and consoling to the Lord's children here. Truth makes them free. Truth consoles them in trials and temptations. There is no comfort or consolation to them in the thought that they are liable to fall away and sink down in eternal ruin and despair at last. Therefore, that doctrine is not the doctrine of God. It is not the truth. The old servant of God was commanded thus: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.” -((0:1) (Isaiah 40:1-2). To tell the Lord's little children, who feel and realize their poverty and their utter dependence upon the ord for His mercy and grace every day and every hour, that they may so fall away as to be eternally lost at last is no comfort to them. Therefore, one who speaks that way does not speak as the Lord commanded. May the Lord bless the thoughts here given to the comfort and encouragement and consolation of our readers, is our humble prayer. We may try to write some more on this subject next week. Pray the Lord to be with and direct us. C. H. C.