A daily devotional by Dr. K. Neill Foster
for February 10, 2019
|A Different Gospel|
Text: "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all." Galatians 1:6-7.
Paul's amazement is striking-- he was "astonished." Perhaps in his experience as an apostle of Jesus Christ he had never bumped into the Galatian phenomenon. In any case, his prose is biting and confrontational. The letter/epistle is bristling against heresy before the chapter reaches ten verses in length!
"You are deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ!"
"You are turning to a gospel which is no gospel at all!"
Today we would say that Paul was laying it on the line. He was clearly angry. He makes no effort at niceties. At issue was the Galatian retreat from salvation by faith through grace alone. They were turning back to salvation through their own efforts (3:3). The scene was not pretty.
"Another gospel" has a message-- heretical though it be. "Another gospel" has false messengers and advocates-- well intentioned though they be. And since the devil adds potency to these false teachers, their heresy has plenty of power-- but it's not God's power.
Finally, just as true Christianity always spreads, a false message always has its own foul contagion. Like cancer, it grows. No wonder Paul was astonished, and very, very angry. The Holy Spirit, inspiring Paul's text as He did, does not flinch at Paul's sharpness-- He too hates error.