Bible Text: Galatians 1:6-10 | Preacher: Jeff Voegtlin | Series: Galatians
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. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Interpretation & Explanation
Verse 6 – I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
- Not a harsh term
- Surprising that they should have left the gospel
- So soon
- Not a long and gradual decline
- Rapid and complete
- This is a possibility – see it often in our own converts
- It is a favorite technique of Satan
- To put something else in the place of the original
- Him that called you
- God, the father
- The grace of Christ
- God’s unmerited favor
- We are totally dependent upon God for salvation – it is grace
- Another gospel
- This claimed to be a gospel – it was different though – no grace
- Claimed to offer justification and sanctification
- Potatoes and onions
Verse 7 – Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
- Not another
- Potatoes and potatoes
- Could not justify or sanctify – curses
- Some that trouble you
- Thinking better of them – they didn’t come up with this themselves
- Those that shake your faith trouble you
- They make the idea of another gospel plausible
- To say that more than Christ is needed is troubling
- You believed but you were not really saved unless you …
- Repented of every sin
- Held to the right theology of salvation
- Were baptized afterward
- Add good works
- Add the law
- Only by grace
- Only through faith
- Only Christ’s work
- Pervert the gospel
- We don’t have to attempt to pervert the gospel to pervert it
- Any attempt to modify or even slightly change the gospel perverts it – this is a very strong term
- The slightest change perverts and destroys the power of the gospel
Verse 8 – 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.
- The Judaizers may have said “I have seen Paul keep these laws, he has even changed his preaching”
- Even if he came back preaching something else…
- An angel
- From himself to the hosts of heaven and everyone in between (James, Peter, John)
- The rank or position of a preacher does not guarantee that he is speaking truth
- That which we have preached
- We have preached the unadulterated truth (gospel)
- Doomed to destruction
- Obviously, we should not listen to heretics
- Proverbs 19:27
Verse 9 – 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.
- Say I now again
- Repetition is good
- The first statement was not rash or made in haste
- Than that ye have received
- Slightly different angle
- They had accepted it as the truth (gospel)
Verse 10 – For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
- Do I now persuade men, or God?
- Seek the favor of men, or God
- When I was a Pharisee, I did that – not now
- Do I seek to please men?
- These Pharisees do that
- Their gospel is a man-pleasing gospel
- Their gospel puts man in control
- The servant of Christ
- A slave for Christ
- Devoted to another to the disregard of his own interests
- Do not expect to please men
- Be alarmed when flattered by the world
- Others aim to please men, Christians aim to please Christ
- When you become a Christian, you cease to aim to please men
- True Christians must be different from the world – a peculiar people
Illustration & Application
The plan of redemption
We must always remember that the gospel is God’s plan. It is not something that can be tampered with or refined. If we try to “fix” it, we “steal” it from God. When God does the work, He gets the glory. In the history of redemption, there have often been attacks on the gospel or God’s people – Satan has often attempted to thwart God’s plan – while battling the devil, we must remember the simplicity of the gospel, which is…
The Christ of salvation
It is important that we not lose our focus here. Some in defense of doctrine (Scriptures, soteriology, eschatology, ecclesiology) forget the Christ of salvation. Salvation is only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in the Scriptures alone. You can have the “right doctrine” and go to hell because you’re trusting in your doctrine, AND You can have the “wrong doctrine” and go to heaven because you’re trusting Christ alone for salvation. Anything that distracts from Christ and his work for salvation OR sanctification is a perversion.
The message to the church
We must be vigilant against error. Errors can quickly enter. Pride and flattery often precedes error as well as ignorance and pride. There is novice ignorance, which can be corrected by teaching. And there is persisted ignorance, which no amount of teaching can correct.
We must humbly test preachers and teachers by the Scriptures. The Bible is the ultimate authority — not tradition, not our own traditions, not theology, not Baptist theology, not popular preachers, not “powerful” preachers, ONLY the SCRIPTURES.
Be God’s man — a servant of Christ, not only without regard to our own interest but with disregard to our own interests. Seek to please God only, if we accomplish this, all who we really care about will also be pleased, whether in our profession in general or as pastors; in our church; or in our family.