Glancing at Galatians part 2–Only One Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9)

Posted on August 18, 2011

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Paul zealously protected the one true Gospel, and he felt it necessary to protect Christians from false teaching. Paul knew that the souls of the believers in Galatia were at stake, and a soul is worth more than all worldly goods.

Mark 8:36–37 (NKJV)

36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Now, when Paul established these churches, he taught them the true Gospel, but apparently, it didn’t take them long to get turned away from the truth. It’s amazing how quickly people can be lead astray, even seemingly intelligent people.

The reason has to do with our own selfish desires, our self centeredness. We naturally tend to flock to the message that makes us feel good about ourselves, yet the Bible, for all of its wonderful promises, rarely makes us feel good about ourselves.

The Bible’s message about humanity is much different. It’s one of sinful, wicked carnality. One of evil and depraved hearts and minds.

Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)

9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV)

6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Romans 3:10 (NKJV)

10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

It’s a message of a totally helpless humanity, which is trapped in a world of sin. The Bible’s message is devoid of self-help motivationalism. Instead it teaches that we can’t do anything on our own, that we need God’s help. The Bible’s message is devoid of the prideful self-esteem, which is so worshipped today (even in our churches). Instead, the Bible tells us not to think too highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3), and to esteem others more than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).

Romans 12:3 (NKJV)

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)

3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

God’s message requires self-sacrifice, and reliance on God. God’s message requires you to admit that you are weak and helpless. God’s message runs contrary to all worldly wisdom. God’s message is not a popular one, but it is the only legitimate one. It is the only one that leads to eternal life.

Paul is quick to note that there is no other Gospel, despite all of the lies, perversions and promises that have been made. Despite the false teacher who tickles your ears by telling you that if you have enough faith, God will bless you with an abundance of material riches, and you will be able to live your best life now. In reality, the only one getting rich is the false prophet as people empty their pockets into his, all because they are so desperate to believe that there is an easy way out of the problems of this life, and he is teaching that money is the answer to those problems.  The Bible never promises us material wealth, but does promise us plenty adversity in our lives.

1 Peter 4:12 (NKJV)

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;

The answer to that adversity is not money, it’s Jesus Christ. You must trust Him, and rely on His strength.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

No one has the authority to change the Word of God, not even an angel! Those who do so will certainly be cursed, even though the nature of that curse may not be readily apparent to us. The false teacher may appear to do well, but God is not mocked! In fact, Paul thought that this warning against perverting the Gospel was so important, that he immediately repeated it. Make no mistake, it is a curse to the false teacher, and a curse to those who follow it.

Proverbs 30:5–6 (NKJV)

5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Revelation 22:18–19 (NKJV)

18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;

19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

This was (and is) a serious matter, and Paul did not bite his tongue when he relayed its seriousness to the Galatian churches. Anyone who preaches a false gospel is cursed.

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Posted in: Commentary