Another Gospel – Galatians 1:6-97 min read
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Assemblies are in grave danger today as the devil seeks to destroy any standing we take on Truth – and to some extent he has been succeeding, because far too many professing Christians see it as too much work to stand for something which the majority rejects. We have begun to divide Truth into essential and non-essential categories. We have begun to think as if relativists when it comes to assembly teaching, thinking that we can never really be sure regarding what God expects of the local church. This sort of thinking leads to a compromise of the gospel; and when we compromise that, we have no place to stand upon as believers (1 Corinthians 3:2).
In reality, the gospel is not only a message to unbelievers, it is doctrine which believers must continually uphold. So then, it is essential to know and watch for characteristics of a false gospel, as it is described in our text. We have one body of Truth to uphold, and if we miss that, we miss everything, because Christ is Truth.
I. “Another Gospel” takes away from the grace of Christ.
In Galatia, there was a problem: legalism in its truest sense. People were spreading the lie that God demands the keeping of the Law in addition to Christ for the salvation of the soul. And despite the clear scope of the gospel (which is by grace), these believers had fallen from grace. No, it was not that they became unsaved, but that they compromised what it meant to be under Grace as opposed to Law. To this Paul responds “If righteousness is come by the Law, Christ is dead in vain.” You see, it is man’s sinful nature to pridefully do something for God in order to please Him, when in reality He sees them as filthy rags. And if we are not watchful, this message of righteousness by works will creep into our churches, and we will turn the gospel into ritual. By doing this, we do something even more severe, as we will see.
II. “Another Gospel” draws us away from God.
By compromising the grace of the Lord in the gospel, the compromised the very Lord of the gospel. It is not that the Galatians were called away from doctrine (though that was tragically true), but they were called away from a Person: “Him that called you.” Dear believer, never think that doctrine and the gospel message is just simple trivial fact and that what really matters is service. Both are vital. Your attitude toward doctrine and the message of the gospel reflects your attitude toward God. And it doesn’t stop there: when the Devil realizes we are vulnerable to one lie, another will follow, and another, and another. Then the time will come sooner than you would expect that you leave your first love and cease to draw near to God as you once would have done. The reason many churches must focus on emotion-based spoon-fed “worship” by entertainment is because their doctrines are not strong enough to genuinely bring them near to God in the gospel. It is a shame that such is the case. The Lord Jesus paid everything your sins demanded so that you not only could be reconciled but also brought near in fellowship to God. Don’t despise His work by selling a privileged fellowship with the Creator for “another gospel.”
III. “Another Gospel” has nothing to do with the true one.
Oh, it might come under the “umbrella of Christendom,” but Paul plainly says that it is not another gospel at all. You see, the true gospel is exclusive by nature; one cannot have two contradicting claims both be true. One must be wrong for the other to be right. It is no different with the gospel. God’s Truth cannot be changed or replaced – it is by nature absolute.
It is also nice to know, that even when faced with “another gospel” that may look appealing, in the end it is never worth your time. “Gospel” means “good news.” And so when Paul says that other “gospel” messages are not genuine, in effect He is saying “You have been called to another gospel, which in reality is not good news at all.” It is never worth it to compromise our blessed message with a fake imitation that will only break in the end. Don’t settle for that which is not good news.
IV. “Another Gospel” comes from wolves amongst sheep.
This is helpful, because if we can as Paul told the Romans “mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them,” then we can prevent a great deal of false doctrine from perverting the assembly. We must understand that those who always question the overseers, preach a shallow “gospel,” think doctrine is of no value, and stir up the believers against themselves doctrinally are those who, if not prevented, will lead us into “another gospel.” This is why a Biblical outlook on sin and wise assembly discipline (1 Cor. 5) is always vital.
V. “Another Gospel” is wrong, regardless of who said it.
Why do so many cults exist today? Because they believe the original revelation of God is not enough and that some enlightened person(s) was/were enlightened to new truth, around which was formed an organization or religious group. With the Mormons, they believe an angel came to a man named Joseph Smith to reveal another testament of Christ. With the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they believe a man name C. T. Russel began an organization (the Watchtower) which is inspired of God just as is Scripture. With Seventh Day Adventists, they follow Ellen G. White. And yet despite the claims of their leaders, we can look to Scripture and point out the lies amongst these religious groups.
Our text tells us a vital truth which these people miss: what is wrong in Scripture will always be wrong, regardless of the person who says it is right. It doesn’t matter if an acclaimed apostle or a bright angel presents new “truth”: if it is “new truth” it is false truth, because Scripture is complete in itself. Don’t worry about the fame of a preacher. Don’t worry about the prosperity of a certain religious group. Their prosperity doesn’t define their reality. You are responsible to uphold truth from God’s Word and nowhere else. In fact, when witnessing to those who falsely claim to believe the Bible yet are in a cult, this is a profitable passage to show them; then you can contrast their beliefs with Scripture.
VI. “Another Gospel” brings tremendous consequences.
The Lord Jesus said “Whosoever shall stumble one of these little ones, it were better for him that a millstone be tied about his neck and cast into the sea.” It is not a laughable occupation to deceive the people of God. It is not a light thing to teach false doctrines to the people of God, for it hinders them from God Himself. Paul emphasized twice over that he which perverts the gospel of Christ and preaches another is accursed as long as he continues in that doctrine. God is absolutely abhorred when He sees His blood-bought people subject to what the Devil wishes to teach regarding Christ: our view of His Person are at stake! And the same is true regarding the souls of both the false teacher and the false learner.
So then, what will our response be to Divinely revealed Truth? Our response to it reflects our response to God Himself. Let us not minimize the importance of preaching a clear and Scriptural gospel message, both to the unregenerate and to the saved. We must uphold Truth at all costs. And it starts by knowing Truth by the power of the Holy Spirit revealing Christ to you through the pages of Scripture. Will you stand by what He reveals to you? Or will you deceive yourself and be drawn away from God unto a so-called “other gospel.” Be not deceived! Truth matters, and it affects everything.