Most rich people don’t stay rich forever.
About seven in 10 wealthy families lose their fortune by the second generation, according to a study of more the 3,200 high-net worth families by the Williams Group wealth consultancy. By the third generation that number has jumped to 90%
History is full of those who lost great wealth. Mark Twain lost millions and had to go on a speaking tour at the end of his life to pay off his debts. Horace Tabor, in the 19th century lost more than three million dollars. Jack Whittaker lost all of his lottery winnings of 113 million dollars. And Clint Murchison, Jr who established the Dallas Cowboys, squandered his inheritance of nearly 200 million dollars and was forced to sell assets to repay debts of 500 million!
Perhaps you know of people who have squandered away large amounts of money.
But the greatest thing one can squander is not financial but spiritual! And the Galatians were squandering Grace by adding works to either getting saved or staying saved.
In Sunday’s passage, Paul accuses them of five things:
RUINING GRACE, 5:1-2
RENEGING ON GRACE, 5:3
FALLING FROM GRACE, 5:4-6
STUMBLING OVER GRACE, 7-10
PERSECUTING GRACE, 11-12
These twelve verses are packed, dense and rich! Read through them now.
Grace leads to freedom, (5:1) but did you know you can loose the benefits of Grace, (2)?
You can not pick and choose what parts of the Law you wish to live under. It is all or nothing, (5:3) Most people have no idea how disastrous and debilitating reneging on Grace is to freedom.
People do not mind cutting their losses. But cutting your blessings? The Galatians wishing to please God, were falling from Grace, (5:4)? Did this mean they would loose their salvation?
In golf, if the the leader squanders his lead over the last several holes, he has stumbled. Christians can stumble over Grace and loose their freedom in Christ, (7-10).
Finally, as Paul said, in last weeks passage, those who wish to add works to salvation, invariably persecute those who reject a works based salvation. Before his conversion Paul persecuted the Church of Jesus Christ. Now the Apostle of Grace is persecuted by his former team mates. How often, have those like myself been accused of “Easy Believism.”
Like I said, this passage is packed, dense and rich. It is a theologically tasty text.