‘Frustrate’ in our opening verse is the Greek ‘atheteō’ and according to Strong’s exhaustive concordance of the Bible, it means to ‘set aside, disesteem, violate, bring to nought or reject. To frustrate the Grace of God therefore means rejecting what God has accomplished for you and going about to accomplish it your way.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Galatians 2:21 (KJV)
This is beautifully captured in a young boy struggling to carry a pan full of stones from the market to build his Father’s house. After trying and failing for many hours because of the weight, the Father who is highly appreciative of the sons efforts and good intentions sends the senior brother who could easily carry the stones with one hand to assist the young boy and has prepared a large surprise dinner party for the young boy on his return for the efforts but the boy won’t allow his senior brother assist him and would not come home because he wants to do it himself.
He kept crying and fighting His senior brother not to assist because He wanted Daddy to know He brought the stones himself whiles everybody waited for hours upon hours till all the cooked foods were spoilt and all the visitors for the dinner party were gone. Now the young boy feels condemned because He wouldn’t let the senior brother help and He wouldn’t be able to carry the stones too. They finally went home without the stones.
This is the life of many Christians. They’ve set aside every help of God and are trying to please God by their efforts which God doesn’t require at all. They are trying to accomplish for God what He has already accomplished for them. This is what it means to frustrate Grace. Some are trying to do good till they become righteous. After trying for many years they realized it wasn’t possible that way but they won’t still embrace God’s gift of righteousness for them. Like the young boy, some even fight the truth that God has made them righteous without their efforts and are trying to attain it by their efforts. At the end of the day, they won’t attain it and they would feel condemned also.
I am empowered by the GRACE that is in Christ Jesus. I don’t rely on personal efforts to get anything done. I am deeply grounded and rooted in his love for the world and what He, Jesus has done for them.