Hello everyone. Welcome to the Deeper Waters blog again. Tonight, we’re continuing our dive into the ocean of Scripture as we study the doctrine of the Trinity. Last night, we wrapped up the book of 2 Corinthians with a look at the beautiful benediction that closes that epistle. Tonight, we’re going to be reading Galatians 1:6-9, a passage that all counter-cult types should know.
6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
It’s interesting how angels seem to make appearances at times. An angel is the one who gave a message to Muhammad allegedly. The angel Moroni came to Joseph Smith allegedly and told him where to go to find the golden plates.
We often come with this assumption that if something is spiritual, that it must be good. New Age teachers delight in this. There’s a reason authors like Sylvia Browne sell numerous books. If you are hearing something from the other side, well it must be good!
The Word of Faith movement has this same idea as well. So many people think that if you are quoting the Bible and talking about Jesus, well it must be good. No one wants to be said to be going against the Spirit after all. If you are having all these miracles and such going on and people are getting excited and feeling happy, well it must be of God.
Paul points in this passage to what is of God. The gospel. Forget all the other stuff. If the gospel is not right, then it’s not of God. Even if it were an angel from heaven giving something that was contrary to the gospel, let him be eternally condemned.
What is essential to the gospel is who Jesus is. Paul has stated that in 2 Corinthians. If someone is preaching another Jesus, they are preaching another gospel. Is Jesus the spirit brother of Lucifer? Then that is another gospel. Is Jesus just a man who was the Messiah but never claimed to be God? Then that is another gospel.
It’s not much of a shock that a lesser Jesus leads to a lesser salvation. A Jesus who is God can cover everything someone does and make them into reflections of himself. A Jesus who is fully deity is a Jesus who can fully save. In other religions, there is a strong emphasis placed on works. Now we as Christians are not against works. We are just against works being for salvation. There is no problem with orthopraxy, right living, but it must be backed by orthodoxy, right beliefs. After all, if you believe right, your living should follow accordingly.
As we go through this series, keep this in mind. Paul had the strongest of words for those who taught another gospel. Would that we had such a passion.