Hey! Randy

Galatians 1:6-9

Posted by heyrandy on May 20, 2010

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. Gal. 1:6-9 AV.

Paul is a man of great passion for the Gospel. You can tell from this pericope from Galatians. How much more intense can he be? When it is about the gospel, for Paul it is all or nothing. He sure puts me to shame. (Okay, he puts everyone to shame, but I am writing this.)

Paul is amazed. The Galatian Christians have abandoned “him who called you into the grace of Christ.” They did not merely abandon the Gospel; Paul says they abandoned God. The significance of this statement should not be ignored. People talk a lot about God. What do they mean? Is it the same as what Paul means?

No. When people speak of God, they are usually referring to the deist version. This is the God (god?) who created the world and then abandoned it to be governed by natural forces. A kind of cosmic wind it up and let it go. This is not the God (sic!) of whom Paul speaks. The God of the gospel is the God very much involved in providence. The universe is not abandoned to its own devices.

We can see God’s action in the first sentence. He called the Galatians. They did not happen upon Him; they were called by Him for His purpose, for His end. Paul gives us that end in v. 5: His glory. God glorifies Himself by redeeming His people by Christ’s vicarious death. This is what makes the situation in Galatia so serious.

Calling is part of the order of salvation. The order begins with His love and ends with glorification. You can see a fairly comprehensive sequence in Rom. 8:29-30. Count the number of times Paul uses the pronoun “(H)e” in these verses. God is active in the salvation of sinners.

The matter desertion of the gospel becomes serious when we remember that the gospel is a covenant. The Bible views covenants with great seriousness. Covenants are not lightly made. To break a covenant is an egregious sin. To despise the covenant is to despise the covenant giver. We can see this in Ex. 4:24-26. To break a covenant is to bring upon yourself the curses of the covenant.

Paul says that they were going after “another gospel which is not another.” The Christians were being deceived into believing a “gospel” that was entirely different from the one that Paul brought to them. It is like changing methods of transportation. They were not giving up their car for the bus. They were forgoing the car for a bullfrog. There was no way this was going to work. In 5:4 he would tell them that they had “fallen from [i.e., stopped relying upon] grace.” They had abandoned the Abrahamic covenant and its fulfillment in Christ for the Mosaic covenant. They did not realize the proper place of the Mosaic covenant. Paul will address the proper role of the Mosaic covenant later on.

Paul’s passion for the gospel is revealed in another area. The pronounces a curse upon anyone, including himself, who preaches a gospel that is different from what he preaches. Paul is so intense in this passion that he pronounces the curse twice! He even includes the angels of heaven. Paul’s language is even stronger later in the letter when he speaks about the false teacher who demand that the Galatian believers be circumcised.

Paul brooks no modification of the truth. He call the false teachers who are troubling the Galatians those who “pervert the gospel.” This is not a case of difference of opinion about a nuance of Christianity. This is an occurrence of gospel corruption. This is about basic, fundamental truth. Of course Paul is passionate. He should be. This falsehood attacks the foundation upon which all else is built.

Homework assignment: Decide where in the order of salvation you place regeneration. Paul does not mention the new birth in Romans 8, so think through the matter and post a comment. Did you do the assignment from my last post?


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