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No Other Gospel 

I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! 9 As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!

10 For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10)

 

Yesterday, we learned of how many believers in the region of Galatia were turning to false doctrine. In verse 6, Paul exclaims just how astonished he was due to their decision, “I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.” The believers were turning away from Jesus Christ and the freedom provided in His gift of salvation and subjugating themselves to the bondage of the Mosaic law, trying to earn their salvation through religiosity.

 

With verse 7, Paul states clearly that there is not “another gospel,” meaning that what these false teachers are sharing does not lead to salvation at all. Jesus Christ said in John 14:6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It is only through Jesus Christ that one can be saved, no other way. Yet, the false teachers were distorting the “gospel of Christ,” by mixing in this supposed need to convert to Judaism, becoming circumcised, and follow the practices of the Mosaic law in order to gain salvation.

 

The gravity of the danger of such false doctrine being spread is highlighted in verse 8, with Paul giving a hypothetical case, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!” As Max Anders summarizes, “Anyone who presents a way of salvation that depends in any way on works, rather than God, has contaminated the gospel message…They have no gospel, no good news.” Paul emphasizes just how dangerous this is by repeating it again in verse 9, “If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!”

 

Finally, in verse 10, Paul refutes his critics, who were claiming that he was simplifying Christian living and maturity, purposefully omitting Christian commands in the Bible, to appeal to people, “to persuade people.” Paul uses two rhetorical questions to combat this notion, “For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people?” Paul’s entire purpose for sharing the truth is to please the Lord only, to be His servant. Anders states, “you must choose: serve people’s fickle pleasures or serve the faithful Christ.”

 

Paul saw many people falling into the snares of false doctrine, leading to them having a false sense of security, thinking they were safe in this false gospel. Yet, there is only one gospel, salvation is found only in Jesus Christ, through His grace and not of our own work. Therefore, as believers, we must share the gospel message, not removing anything to try to please people’s ears. They must know the truth.

 

Blessings,

Isaac De Guzman

 

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