Wednesday: No Other Gospel

What normally follows the opening greeting in Paul’s letters? How is Galatians different? Compare Gal. 1:6 with Rom. 1:81 Cor. 1:4Phil. 1:3, and 1 Thess. 1:2.

Although Paul addresses all kinds of local challenges and problems in his letters to the churches, he still made it a practice to follow his opening greeting with a word of prayer or thanksgiving to God for the faith of his readers.

No other Gospel but Jesus

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He even does this in his letters to the Corinthians, who were struggling with all kinds of questionable behavior (compare 1 Cor. 1:4 and 1 Cor. 5:1). The situation in Galatia is so upsetting, however, that Paul omits the thanksgiving entirely and gets right to the point.

What strong words does Paul use that demonstrate the degree of his concern about what was happening in Galatia? Read Gal. 1:6-9, Gal. 5:12.

Paul does not hold back any words in his accusation against the Galatians. Simply put, he charges them with betraying their calling as Christians. In fact, the word turning (NJKV), which appears in verse 6, often was used to describe soldiers who gave up their loyalty to their country by deserting the army. Spiritually speaking, Paul is saying that the Galatians were turncoats who were turning their backs on God.

How were the Galatians deserting God? By turning to a different gospel. Paul is not saying that there is more than one gospel but that there were some in the church who — by teaching that faith in Christ was not enough (Acts 15:1-5) — were acting as if there were another one. Paul is so upset by this distortion of the gospel that he desires that anyone who preaches a different gospel might fall under the curse of God! (Gal. 1:8). Paul is so emphatic about this point that he basically says the same thing twice (Gal. 1:9).

There is, today, a tendency even in our church (in some places) to emphasize experience over doctrine. What matters most (we are told) is our experience, our relationship with God. However important experience is, what does Paul’s writing here teach us about the importance of correct doctrine?


Wednesday: No Other Gospel — 8 Comments

  1. It's by might,nor power, but by my Spirit say the Lord. This explicitly puts the work of the Holy Spirit over experience because He also applies the fruit. The Holy Spirit teaches us the doctrine the right way.

  2. What follows Grace and Peace? An invitation to return to the God of our father and mother. Follow through on that promise. "I have returned to the God of my father,
    The most God-like man a child could know; 
    I just heard a shout from the angels in glory, 
    Praising the Lord a child has come home." ... maybe we are one who has not woundered to another God or doctrine. "I will stay with the God of my childhood, to the same faith as a child I knew." Now if we grew up with lack of full truth, we would sing, "I have surrendered to The Father of Abraham, the shepherd of Moses who called Him the great I Am."

  3. Our experience and relationship with the LORD should not be confused. Our relationship, knowing the LORD, is the most important relationship we can have. Our relationship with the LORD comes thru the study and prayer of His Word, thru His teachings, His doctrine. Our life experiences form our own opinions and doctrines which are never to be used as how we lead our lives.

  4. It is crucial to know that we are not saved by anything we can do. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. We are saved by believing that our Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins. He clothes us in his righteousness! To believe that our works save us is to despise Our Savior's precious and worthy sacrifice. When we fully realize the depth of our Savior's love and our complete lack of worthiness to receive it, then with grateful hearts we will render Him our service. Our works must be born of love to Our Lord not pride that we can earn our own salvation.

    • Amen Cayla. It is not our works, for good or for evil, that save or condemn us. Our works merely reflect Who we choose to love and worship... Who we choose as the Master of our lives. It is that choice which saves or condemns us.

  5. God's word, the TRUTH, comes before our experiences.Our relationship and our experience as Christian ought to lessons base on the truth.We create our relationship and learn from our experiences with the help of God's Holy Spirit.

  6. Paul was seeing the corruption that was creeping in to the churches at Galatia. They were adding something to the gospel that Paul had delivered to them. They were following the false concept of legalism, and righteousness by the law. To the children of Israel, righteousness was achieved through law-keeping. Deut 6:25.

    In Rom 10:1-5 and Rom 9:30-33 Paul clearly teaches us that righteousness cannot come through the law. Only through faith. The true gospel is about salvation by believing and placing our complete trust in Jesus and His finished work. The other gospel that the Gentiles were following was salvation by the works of the law.

  7. "Gentiles" were always people that were not of the 12 tribes of Israel. Gentiles that accepted the gospel of Jesus had no idea about law keeping the way those of the 12 tribes of Israel did. I think that the "Trouble makers" within the Galatians believers were probably converts to Christianity from the 12 tribes of Israel and not any gentile converts to Christianity from the gentile world. I mean, why would a gentile want to bind himself or herself with a lot of do's and don'ts when they had no do's or don'ts before they came to Jesus the way those of the 12 tribes of Israel had with all their do's and don'ts of their works-related religion?


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