Not So Random Thoughts 2

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. 6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. 11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

In the New Testament times Paul was amazed that men were departing from the Gospel and in fact that was deserting Him who called them by the grace of Christ. It amazed him that these things could be true. However, if we see what happened in the New Testament times it becomes apparent that the Gospel was under attack from within and without before the apostles departed the scene. We can see how quickly works and forms of legalism crept in and seemingly took over. By the time of the Reformation a system of the professing Church and its legalism and opposition to sovereign grace took over. Luther was also amazed that people would prefer forms of legalism and opposition to sovereign grace over the Gospel of grace alone.

It is really no different in our day when one gets to the heart of the matter. A little bit of works goes a long way when it comes to distorting the Gospel of Christ. We must beware in these issues and we must take extraordinary care in the teaching we listen to. We must beware of the small things people say and the things that are slipped in. We must beware and listen with the greatest of care or we will be allowing a false gospel to influence our thinking and our way of life.

Notice from the text what a slight turn (in our view) means: 1. It is a deserting Him who called by the grace of Christ. 2. It is a deserting Him for a different gospel. 3. It is distorting the Gospel of Christ. 4. It is a gospel contrary to what the true Gospel is. 5. Preaching this gospel is a serious enough matter for men to be cursed. What was it that was so serious? From the context of the passage some men were trying to add circumcision to the Gospel. Notice, they were just adding one little thing that is in the power of men to do to the Gospel. What harm can there be in adding one little thing to the Gospel of grace alone? Well, it makes the Gospel as something other than grace alone and something other than to the glory of God alone. That is what adding one little thing to the Gospel does.

In our day we have people adding faith to the Gospel as if men could come up with that on our own. We have men adding church membership to the list, adding baptism to the list, and adding things like the Lord’s Supper to the list. We have people adding certain moral requirements to the list as well. The problem with adding moral requirements is not that people are changed by the Gospel, but that the moral requirements are not part of the Gospel. It is a very important issue. People are not saved by morality and they cannot tell for sure they are saved by morality. They can tell if they are not saved by immorality, but we must never place morality in the place of grace alone.

The Gospel of grace alone is not just a rejection of a doctrine; it is a rejection of God Himself. This is perhaps as serious an issue as one can find. The Gospel is not just a doctrine, it is the truth of God Himself and as such a rejection of the Gospel is a rejection of the living and true God. When one hears a preacher, regardless of how nice the man is, regardless of how good a speaker the man is, and regardless of how orthodox the man is; when a man adds to the Gospel of grace alone that man is a deceiver. The man who adds to the Gospel of grace alone is as dangerous a man as there is in the world. It is no small thing at all, but in reality it is an enormous thing. But despite all of that there are many, many men in the world who are adding things to the Gospel and are distorting the true Gospel to one that is contrary to the true Gospel. That false gospel also sets out a false god. The pulpits of our land are full of deceivers and yet as long as they are nice it seems as if no one cares.

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