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A Different Gospel

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. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.- Galatians 1:6-9

Isn’t that a startling opening to Paul’s epistle to the Galatians?  This was a first-generation church, founded by Paul and his missionary companions. Yet in these foundational years, the Galatians were already in danger of losing the Gospel.  They were still a Christian Church (or churches), but some were causing trouble, “perverting the gospel.”

That perversion of the Gospel is explained later in the epistle.  It was the error of works righteousness. Some were adding the law back into the Gospel.  It was as if they were saying, “The Gospel says that Jesus died in payment for your sins, but you still have to do your part too!”  What part can you do?  What can you add to Christ’s suffering?  What sins can you pay for that Christ has not already paid for?  What righteousness can you claim for yourself other than Christ’s own righteousness which he gives you as a gift?  The Gospel is that Christ has already accomplished all things necessary for our salvation, and we are declared righteous in God’s sight through faith in Jesus.  Anything else is a perverted Gospel. And Paul’s admonition to the Galatians applies to us today. “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.”

There are many sects and denominations with perverted gospels today.  They all have one thing in common. They add human works and requirements to the merits of Christ for salvation.  God help us to regularly and thoroughly study and restudy the original Gospel of Christ so clearly laid out in the Scriptures, that no one may be able to bring in a perverted gospel among us. I close with Paul’s closing words to the Galatians:

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. – Galatians 6:14

-Pastor Anderson