World English Bible translation
1:6I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel; 1:7 and there isn't another gospel. Only there are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 1:8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any gospel other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed. 1:9 As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any gospel other than that which you received, let him be cursed. 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn't be a servant of Christ.
In Today's Scripture, Paul quickly comes to the point of this letter. Paul had brought the gospel of the grace of Christ to the Galatians. Paul reminds these Christians that even though it was a man that had brought them the message, it was Christ who called them out of their sinful lives. Paul was the messenger who spoke in God's name, but it was God's message.
Now another group had come and sought to bring them another gospel. Now the words that we translate as "gospel" literally mean "good news." What Paul is trying to tell these Galatians at the very beginning of this letter is that the message that was bring presented to them as a "gospel" was not good news at all. What these men were doing was perverting the gospel of Christ.
Paul calls these men that brought the Galatians another gospel "the Judaizers." They were sincere, well-intentioned men. They honestly believed what they were teaching the Galatians and other Gentile believers. But sincerity is not the test of authenticity. Even the most heartfelt message might be completely wrong.
The credential of the messenger is not the sole determination of its purity, either. The Judaizers presented themselves as having credentials from the church in Jerusalem. They implied that the other apostles that had been in the Twelve that Jesus had established were supportive of their mission. So, Paul tells the Galatians that if anyone were to come to them and teach a message that is contrary to what he originally gave to them that they should never listen to that person. He goes further to even say that that person should be "cursed." Even if an angel from heaven should come and deliver them such a message they should never listen.
Paul was certain of the authenticity of his message. He had seen the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus. Since then, the Spirit of God had continued to confirm in his own heart the message that had been delivered to him. And God had placed within Paul an inextinguishable desire to proclaim that gospel to other men. Moreover, when Paul began to proclaim that gospel, God continued to reaffirm its authenticity by miracles and by the change that was manifested in the lives of those that received the message.
Because of this confirmation by God, Paul had committed himself to be a servant of Christ. He was not trying to please men; he was trying to please God. For this reason, Paul declared the gospel of the grace of Christ until the end of his life.
Has anyone ever attempted to preach to you another gospel other than one of the grace of Christ? What do you think Paul meant when he wrote that if even an angel from heaven preached another gospel, let him be cursed?
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