I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. – Galatians 1:6-8 NKJV
The gospel is under attack.
This isn’t something new as evidenced in Paul’s harsh words to the churches of Galatia. He is astonished to hear of the “turning away” by some from the message of grace.
The simplicity of the grace of God, given to us and not earned, faced great opposition in Paul’s day and the message is under constant attack in our church culture. In verses 6 through 10 of Galatians 1, see no less than 5 points Paul was trying to instill into the Galatian churches and these 5 points are relevant for our day.
- The Gospel message is often under attack. If it happened to the 1st century church, there is a good chance it happens to us. Don’t be surprised when the message of the cross is attacked. (verse 7a)
- The attack is meant to “pervert” or corrupt the gospel. The word here means change from one form to another form – opposite of the former. The attack is actually meant to change the entire message. (verse 7b)
- False teaching often comes in a form that looks credible. Paul says “even if an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you…” False teaching perverting the gospel almost never comes in an obvious evil-looking form. (verse 8a)
- We must always be on guard and not let the message be swayed by the messenger. We must be ready to take action, even aggressive action against the attack. The term Paul uses is translated in many versions as “accursed.” This is a strong word meaning to treat it as something you would throw out of your house. Protecting the gospel may need us to take aggressive action. (verse 8b)
- Finally from verse 10, we learn our stance may not be popular. We are to please God. If we were just to make people happy, we wouldn’t be servants of God.
For nearly 2000 years, the message of Paul has remained true and applicable. His constant reminder to the Galatian churches is also for us, the message of grace is under attack and we must not waver from the gospel of Jesus. His grace is a free gift from God and it is the only way we can find salvation. Not through our works, but solely through His grace.
In His Service!
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