Sermon Recap - Galatians 1:6-9
Have you ever made a bad trade? We all have, of course. Perhaps the worst sports trade ever: Babe Ruth for money to produce a musical.
Galatians 1:6-9 records a terrible trade that some churches made. It is “An ASTONISHING Trade”
This passage gives us the situation that occasioned the writing of the letter.
- There was an outside group that had come in and was teaching a different gospel than what Paul had taught.
- But what exactly did this group teach??? Turn to Acts 15:1-5.
This group taught that Jesus is not enough for salvation. They taught a “Jesus +” type of gospel. Their message was Jesus + circumcision and Mosaic Law = salvation
Don’t Trade the GOD of the True Gospel (6-7)
“so quickly” – reminds us of Exodus 32:8 at how quickly the Israelites abandoned God and turned to the golden calf.
“deserting him” – Notice that Paul doesn’t say “it”. He writes “him”. Trading in the true gospel for something else is to walk away from God. It’s not, “You deserted a message.” It’s, “You deserted a person.” God.
I’m astonished. You gave up God. To get what?
“a different gospel” – Jesus + circumcision (for the Gentile believers)
For a false teaching to be effective, it must be presented as just a bit different, as something that fulfills or completes what you already accept.
But the reality is this: Jesus + anything else = nothing
And the true gospel squation: Jesus + nothing = everything
The reality is that people rarely leave the straight and narrow path simply through force of an idea. It is normally through the force of a new idea as presented by a charismatic personality.
So, a slightly tweaked version of the gospel + a charismatic personality and you have people beginning to abandon God, maybe even unknowingly.
- Mormonism (Joseph Smith)– fastest growing religion in USA
- Jehovah’s Witnesses (Charles Taze Russell)
Matthew 7:15 – False teachers come talking and looking like the real thing. Wolves in sheep clothing are more effective at destroying the church. You would quickly and easily reject anyone from influence in the church today if they were denying that Jesus was the Christ. But with a message that is similar, but slightly different, than the true gospel we can be easily deceived. A “Jesus +” gospel sounds similar to a “Jesus only” gospel.
1 Timothy 4:16 - You can always pray for Pastor Mark that he will remain steadfast in the true gospel.
Gospel Grace or the Curse of God? (8-9)
Preaching another gospel cannot be defended, even by appealing to a heavenly source or a heavenly revelation.
- Case in point: Mormonism – founded by Joseph Smith after supposedly hearing from an angel
The crux of the matter is this: If you leave Jesus then there is no one to take the curse of your sin.
There are 2 important implications from verses 8-9:
- You must cling with all your might to the true gospel.
- There is no higher authority on truth and the gospel than the Word of God.
- Not Paul, not an angel, not any slick talking preacher, not the Pope. No one has authority over God’s Word to change it. Everyone must submit to it.
Let’s cling to the true gospel together!