Sermon Recap - Galatians 1:1-5

Posted on January 5, 2015.

I want you to consider the possibility that we may need to be retaught the gospel.

We tend to lean towards human gospels.  It suits our palate.  They have a similar taste and feel.

  • This is what had happened to these churches that the apostle Paul started.  They started true but they drifted into something that was not the gospel at all.
  • The churches Paul was writing to were adding extra rules to the gospel.  You see, when you take a little Jesus and add to him, you actually lose him.  A “Jesus +” type of gospel is actually no gospel at all.
  • The true gospel equation is Jesus + nothing = everything

There are 2 dominant errors of the gospel in our day and time

  • Belief in license that allows us to do whatever because God will forgive us
    • This is often called cheap grace.
    • Galatians 5:13
    Belief in performance that keeps us in God’s good graces
    • This is often called legalism, that is, the desire to maintain good standing before God by how you act, etc.
    • Galatians 5:1

The true gospel is by its nature not designed to please humans.  It is designed to please God.  One sign of a false gospel is that somehow it seems as we would have expected.


There are 2 parts to Galatians 1:1-5

  1. Introductions (1-2)
  2. Welcome to the Gospel (3-5)


Introductions (1-2)

Verse 1

  • What is the significance of the resurrection here?
    • Jesus and the resurrection are the center of the Christian faith.


Welcome to the Gospel (3-5)

Verses 3-5 serve as a crash-course into to the true gospel.

Verse 3 – A Gospel Wish

“Grace to you and peace” – The gospel is about grace and peace & living them correctly.

  • When we misunderstand grace, we fall into license
  • When we misunderstand peace, we fall into performance.

Grace is the very central point and greatest truth that distinguishes Christianity from other religions.

Verse 4 – The Gospel Basics

“Jesus Christ, who gave himself” – The core teaching of the NT is that Jesus Christ was given for us (e.g. John 3:16) to die on the cross.

“for our sins to deliver us” -  To get the gospel right, you must know that you are a sinner.  Sin is not external to you.  Sin is in your DNA.  This is why all human attempts to rescue ourselves fail.  We cannot fundamentally change who we are.  But the true gospel of Jesus Christ is good news because he can fundamentally change who we are.

Verse 5 – The Goal of the Gospel

Because this is all from God, it is therefore something from which God alone gets the glory.

Paul didn’t begin his letter saying, “Hard work, discipline, moral improvement...”

Paul says, “It is all grace.  Stay on message, which means stay on grace.”