There is no excuse for negligence. It brings dire consequences. Hebrews 2:3 says, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.”
The apostle John was a good steward of Jesus’ words. 1 John 1:3 says, “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you, also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
Peter admonished his readers to be good stewards of their faith. In 2 Peter 1:5-7 it says, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” Did you notice how they are connected? Being diligent requires intentionality.
Paul was a good steward of God’s grace. He made a point that I want to focus on. Ephesians 3:7 says, “Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.”
What gift of grace have we been given? It is exactly the same as Paul. It is God’s resurrection power that effectively empowers us to do what He has called us to do. It is Him Who is doing it! 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”
Paul brought admonishment to the Galatians for their neglect. Galatians 5:4 says, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
Though Paul was speaking about physical circumcision, we can apply this to our own lives. We are not justified by our works, as Titus 3:5 says. Romans 5:1 says that we are justified by faith. Verse 2 says, “Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…”
As soon as we take on a work mentality, we have fallen from grace. Grace is a gift. Ephesians 2:9 made that very plan regarding our salvation. It says, “Not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
It is impossible to walk in the Spirit in our own strength. That is why we cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 described fruit that we bear only when we are living under the control and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Remember that Paul was talking about physical circumcision. At salvation, we were spiritually circumcised. Colossians 2:11 says, “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.”
Galatians 5:24-25 is our present day truth. It says, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Grace is an empowerment gift given as we are walking in humility. Galatians 5:26 says, “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” The Holy Spirit goes before us to prepare the way. He knows exactly how much grace we need in any given moment. As we humble ourselves through obedience, our flesh will shrink back in defeat!