Striving for Purity of the Gospel
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-10
In the church, we want unity. We hate to see division, as the apostle did. Like the leaves of branches on trees, all believers are interconnected and work together to the one Gospel. This is unity, and Christ calls us to unity.
But when a leaf or branch becomes a hinderance to the purpose of the tree, it is cut off so the tree can flourish. In the same way, a false gospel cannot be tolerated for the sake of unity—because a false gospel cannot produce true unity.
Though the apostles wanted unity in the church, they did not sacrifice supposed “unity” for the sake of Gospel purity. If someone was preaching another gospel, or something contrary to the Gospel, they were to be accursed. Damned. Condemned. Devoted to destruction.
This isn’t a discussion of Calvinism versus Arminian, homeschooling versus public schooling, cessationism versus continuationism, or Psalms-only versus contemporary music. The distortion of the Gospel is not a minor issue to be ignored. Though Christians should not be known only for what they are against, this is an issue to be against, and one to warn others of. This is not an issue of preference or taste, what works for one and not another. By the Gospel, and the true Gospel alone, we are saved…and by any other gospel we are condemned to hell.
Know what you believe. Know what the people you follow believe. Know the Gospel.
Dear God, help me to be discerning, to know the true Gospel so well that I can recognize anything that is contrary to its message. Help me to stand firm in the Gospel, not allowing the fear of man to turn me against it in any way. Help me to preach the Gospel with boldness and accuracy. Amen.
How well do you know the true Gospel? Spend some time in the book of Galatians, testing what you and those you follow believe about the Gospel and how it aligns to Scripture.