July 22, 2022 – Friday
Galatians 1:6-7 NIV
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
After Paul addresses his letter and greeting to the churches of Galatia, he jumps right into it with the verses above and continues onward. The region of Galatia would be in modern day central Turkey and is where we know Paul and Barnabas planted at least four churches as found in Acts 13-14 during his first missionary trip. A simplified map of the trip may be found here.
After his greeting Paul says, I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ. The word translated astonished is also translated shocked, amazed, surprised, marvel while the HELPS Word-studies adds astonished out of one’s senses. In other words, what Paul is expressing is great astonishment that those who had so faithfully accepted the grace of Christ are deserting that faith and turning to a different gospel.
What they are turning to is a false gospel as there is only one gospel, thus Paul calls what they are turning to is really no gospel at all no matter what those espousing it call it. The grace of Christ, the free unmerited gift of salvation through His sacrifice on the cross which paid for all our sins is the only gospel.
Paul goes on in verse seven, Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. And then he adds the next two verses, 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! It is really unusual for Paul to repeat himself, but he does so here declaring, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
The gospel Paul taught and preached was simple and straightforward, it was about Christ and Christ crucified for the sins of the world. Others sought to complicate it and per Barnes, proclaims salvation on other terms than simple dependence on the merits of the Lord Jesus; and which has introduced the Jewish rites and ceremonies as essential, in order to obtain salvation. Barnes then added, The apostle calls that scheme the “gospel,” because it pretended to be; it was preached by those who claimed to be preachers of the gospel; who alleged that they had come direct from the apostles at Jerusalem, and who pretended to declare the method of salvation. It claimed to be the gospel, and yet it was essentially unlike the plan which he had preached as constituting the gospel.
Where did Paul get his gospel, one might ask as he was not one of the twelve? Paul answers that question in verses eleven and twelve, 11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. Like the twelve apostles, Paul learned the gospel from the source, Jesus Christ Himself.
Bottom Line: Stick with God’s word and the gospel as it is spelled out in His word.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your amazing love and mercy reaching out to Jew and Gentile alike with the simple message of Jesus’ gift of salvation if we will but accept it. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton