False Teachers, What is the True Gospel?
How do you know that what you’re being taught is true? I’m not just talking about at Church, lets use this example in everyday life. How do you know that you’re History teacher is teaching you correctly? Does the teacher provide evidence for what they teach? Is that evidence reliable, I mean I’m sorry but a world history book written in 2002 in my opinion, may not have the most updated information. As people we don’t really question a lot of things, especially if we have been taught this information since we were children. We have to be able to discern for our selves what is true or we may fall into a trap believing a lie our entire lives!
Well the same thing relates to the Gospel. Paul lays it out extremely well in Galatians, lets go there now.
Lets get some context for Galatians and why Paul is writing to them in the first place.
The Galatian people are in an interesting situation, you see, Paul was literally just there, preaching the Gospel (The True Gospel) and he had just departed from Galatia, and then all of these “Jews” come into the land and start adding onto what Paul had said. they preached that the Law is what got you into heaven, they said that you had to follow it word for word and not mess up and that’s how you got to spend eternity in heaven.
These false teachers were known as “Judaizers” and they wanted to combine Grace and the law, the only way to obtain grace is through the law, which is NOT TRUE!
But we have to see where Galatia is spiritually, we have to look at the situation from their perspective. They are in an area which is relatively “Jew Free,” so Paul comes in and teaches them the Gospel, then He leaves. THEN “Jews”(There not) come into the land and add on to what Paul said, and since they were “Jews” they had to be right, and since there were not that many in the area to begin with they just went along with it.
These types of Jews(Judaizers) where false teachers spreading lies, The Law is not how you get into heaven, it is only by the Grace of God that we are able to get into heaven.
That is the context of Galatians in a nut shell.
Now lets get into what Paul has to say about these false teachers, and yes even though that this was written to Galatia it still applies to, today, because there are so many false teachers around us we need to be able to discern between what is true and what is not.
Galatians 1 : 1-5
1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me,
To the churches in Galatia:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
It is critical that Paul starts off this chapter with that He is an apostle, because that gives him authority, and it tells the people of Galatia that it is time to pay attention
- Paul’s apostleship, gives him God ordained authority, and what He preaches is of God and not of man.
We know this because of what it says in Acts;
Acts 2:42 – The first disciples “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.” The teaching of the apostles was their standard of authority, because it was the word of God.
It is important to know that when Paul is preaching it is not “Paul” who preaches, but it is the direct word of God coming through Paul.
Lets go ahead and hit the main purpose of this chapter.
Galatians 1 : 6-10
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Wow, lets dissect this, because this is just good stuff!
Now we talked about the situation that Galatia was in right! How they really didn’t have any Jewish influence, so the natural thing when a bunch of “Jews” come into town is to listen and believe them! Paul knows this, He knows that they are in such a weird predicament and he still goes on to say that he is “ASTONISHED” that they have turned from what he taught them. This shows that he didn’t cut them any slack even though they were in an odd situation. The fact that he doesn’t go easier on them, shows how IMPORTANT understanding the gospel actually is, It holds so much weight that he didn’t cut them any slack.
Ok, so he continues to say that if any man or ANGEL preaches a different Gospel then what has been presented to you from God, through me, then they shall be cursed. Now lets look into this a little bit, first of all its important to notice that he does not exclude himself from the comparison, He says that if “any man” that includes him! Then the even bigger part of this is that if an ANGEL preaches anything different that it will also be cursed. You see this shows the power and weight that the Gospel holds. It holds higher than ANGELS!!!!!!!!!! and they will be cursed for false teachings as well as anyone else.
He finishes up with something that is really simple, but extremely powerful! He says that He lives to please God and not people, and that is what makes him a slave to God. So if we look at this and inverse it a little bit, if we are living on this earth to please people then we are not Slaves to Christ, and we are not living a Gospel centered life.
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
The Gospel is not to be altered, it is to be believed, and when we live a life with the Gospel as the heart of it, then true life change can happen with you, and to the people that God has placed around you!
My challenge to you is to read all of Galatians 1!
Ok, so what is the Gospel??
Well its actually more of a simple answer, than you may think.
The Gospel is, God sending His one and only Son to this earth to die for you. Now I think its important to note that God did not have to send His Son to this earth, BUT that is how much He loves you. He loves you enough to send His One and only Son(John 3:16). When Jesus died on the cross, heaven had to look away, because while He was on the cross he took each and everyone of our sins on His back. He did this so that we could be given Grace. Grace is given and not deserved!!! (If you have not read Grace? click here)
The best news of all is that you don’t have to earn a position in heaven, you don’t have to be a perfect law abiding citizen to get to heaven, in fact those things get you absolutely no where near heaven. All you have to do is confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that He came and died for your sins. Its a free gift, you don’t have to earn it. So what are you waiting for?? Go ahead, it will be the best choice you make in your life!!
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.