I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. [Gal 1:6-9]
So much for introductions. Paul here jumps right in to the reason for writing this epistle. He looks on with wonder and amazement (“I marvel”) at the Galatians turning from the caller to another “gospel”. This “removal” is an act of treason to the grace of Christ. It is a personal betrayal, and Paul takes it that way. It could be argued as to whether “him that called you” is God Himself, or Paul. It does not matter much either way. Turning away from Paul’s gospel is betrayal of God. As we saw from verse 1, Paul was made an apostle by Jesus Christ and God the Father. The Lord told His twelve apostles in John 13:20:
Verily, verily I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.
This principle is just as true of the apostle of the Gentiles as it is of the apostles of the Circumcision. Paul said to the believers at Corinth:
I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn [you]. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet [have ye] not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. [1Cor 4:14-16]
Think of any county in these United States that one can refuse to heed the authority of a sheriff’s deputy and plead his case by saying that it wasn’t the sheriff! The plea would never stand. When the Lord called Paul and sent him as His messenger with His message, authority was given, and we must accept the epistles of Paul as having the authority of the One who sent him.
The call was into the grace of Christ, and it is from the grace of Christ that one turns when he turns to another “gospel”. If this were spoken, we could just see Paul saying the word gospel here with air quotes. What they have turned to is not good news at all! It is a “gospel” that is in complete contradiction to the good news of Jesus Christ by which they were called.
Paul goes on to explain that they did not turn to a body of good news that is an alternative to that which he preached, but to a perversion. There is no alternative to the gospel of the grace of God. There is only perversion.
An angel, or messenger from heaven heard to be preaching another gospel is said to be accursed. Paul himself would be accursed. Anyone adding anything to the message that these Galatian believers received from the apostle is under the curse of God.
For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. [2Cor 11:13-15]
We must be careful to be clear and scriptural in our message. If we would receive God’s blessing and not His curse on our ministries, let us strive to be faithful to the gospel of the grace of God that Paul preached to the Gentiles that he received from our blessed Lord:
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [1Cor 15:1-4]
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