We will be coming off and on to Galatians for the next few months ahead in order to ground us more fully in the Gospel of Christ. Today we are going to discuss the fact that there is only ONE Gospel and yet there are even modern perversions of it today. The Scripture says that anyone who perverts the Gospel should be accursed and that those who follow those perversions will be troubled.
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
There is Only ONE Gospel
It is astonishing when someone leaves the Gospel. The Galatians were enticed by a perversion of the Gospel quickly. This undoing was from some who troubled them with another form of what the missionaries had originally proclaimed in those cities. People turn to things so quickly because it is done without thinking. A few weeks ago I pointed out through the Scripture that our minds (though processes) must be our first line of defense. What does Jesus say about counting the cost?
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
So it is astonishing when someone believes, but is carried away so quickly. We must count the cost of every decision we make. We must be like the Bereans who “were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
I want you all to grow to trust me more and more, but never get to the point that you simply accept what is said. Instead look to the Scriptures and verify what has been taught.
Next we see that someone who perverts the Gospel should be accursed. Paul is not the one who can curse, but calls on God to do so by saying, “Let him be accursed.” If anyone or even an angel from heaven preaches another Gospel “let him be accursed.” At that time many believed that angels ministered the first covenant to Moses. Paul, with that possibly in mind, says that even an angel should be cursed if they proclaimed anything other than the Gospel proclaimed by Paul and the missionaries.
Third, a person of the Gospel lives to please God. Saying that he seeks to please God here does not mean that he wants to displease as many people as possible. That does not seek God. 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 this same apostolic author says, “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” It is that when it comes down to pleasing God or man, a person of the Gospel lives to please God. Of course, God-pleasers are doing what is best for other people. As difficult as it may have been for the Galatians to hear what Paul said, it was best for them. Paul acted and taught that if there is anyway possible we are to please both God and people.
It is astonishing when someone leaves the Gospel after being enlightened, tasting the heavenly gift, partaking of the Holy Spirit, tasting the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come. What they are doing is crucifying again for themselves the Son of God, and putting Him to an open shame. Someone who starts that process of perverting the Gospel should be accursed by God because a person of the Gospel lives to please God not people or themselves.
This brings me to a major point of emphasis- are there modern perversions of the Gospel?
What are Modern Perversions?
Paul does not say that there are other versions of the Gospel, but other perversions. The perversions that are spoken of are not of some far off religion that is so apparently incorrect, but the perversions come from supposed Christians. The New Testament shows that false teachers and false gospels usually come from inside the community of Believers. This is a startling fact and we should accept it as a warning.
Today we have two major perversions of the Gospel that I can identify:
Legalistic Gospel (which is no Gospel at all) This is what Paul argued so powerfully against.
The Legalistic Gospel Perversion has this message:
1. God shows favoritism to some.
2. There are works of the Law that must be completed for salvation.
3. It usually leaves Jesus out and turns back to works = righteousness.
4. Essentially they are saying that Jesus has not accomplished enough.
Entertainment Gospel (which is no Gospel at all)
I would possibly place dualism/Gnosticism from the early centuries A.D. in this category.
The Entertainment Gospel Perversion has this message:
1. There are secrets to success.
2. God wants you to be healthy and wealthy.
3. There is no need for theology, or truth, or corrective discipline and there is no need to talk about judgment or things like repentance.
In a society that is rapidly believing that there is no absolute truth, we must communicate and defend the ONE Gospel of Jesus Christ. Fort Trial Christian Church must correctly communicate and defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What is this ONE Gospel?
1. The ONE GOSPEL proclaims that Jesus has accomplished everything that we could not and that it has been imputed to us. That is the GOOD NEWS. Apart from that we are left in our sins to die a lonely death. If I could sum up the Gospel in one sentence it would be this verse from the New Testament, “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2. The Gospel is what Paul proclaimed- Galatians 2:16-21 and he has already started this way in Galatians 1:3-4.
3. It is the Gospel OF Jesus Christ, it begins and ends with Him. All we must do is believe.
The Galatians weren’t turning away so soon from a philosophy, but from a person.
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.” They were turning from Him to a False Gospel.
Our faith is in a person. It is in our Lord Jesus.
The majority of you have stated that Fort Trial Christian Church is in a transition period. A new minister has come and it is a time for new members. I will add this though- our main focus should never be growth because that will easily become our god, yet we must always have our eyes and hearts open to those who may take interest in the Gospel and God will give us opportunities and God will add to this church as He sees fit. You have already done many things that will appeal to the younger generations like PowerPoint and such. And in all that may be done, the primary thing that can never change is the Gospel that comes from the pulpit and in these classrooms. And if we want to take advantage of the opportunities to teach the Gospel, then we must be prepared. We must know how to correctly explain the Gospel and we must be somewhat prepared for many questions from interested people.
There is only ONE Gospel.
If that message changes then there is no Good News at all and Christ died for nothing.