TITLE: “a different gospel”
TEXT: Galatians 1:1-12
I once briefly worked with a very kind brother in Christ, back in 2011-2012.
This brother had a trade. He was a locksmith. He would bring me and teach me his occupation. It was amazing to me the intricate details that could be found within a key and lock. How each groove had a specific and precise purpose. And the slightest deviance would create complications and ultimately lead one away from the ability to open the door. Accuracy was most certainly “key” (pun intended). And one had to keep up, daily, with the work.
This brother, member of the church for decades. Loved. Appreciated. Has since fallen away from the faith once delivered to the saints. Away from our common salvation (Jude 3). Fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4). He did not give the more earnest heed to the things which we have learned in the Bible (Heb. 2:1). And so he drifted away. Against all loving attempts from the faithful to reason with him. This brother slipped from his first love and brought his wife, children, and grandchildren with him. This delinquent proceeded to further try and recruit his own following, according to the error of his task masters no doubt, the ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing.
You see, brethren form the US had come to visit, worship, and fellowship with us. And unknown to us they became friendly to our weakest (worldly minded) and secretly presented material holding a different gospel. This corrupt seed germinated. Wrongly divided Scripture, false interpretation. And a few years later, this spiritual threat produced fruit. Strange questions began to rear itself in the assembly. And when it was addressed with the Bible, rejection and separation took place. Yet another discouragement to add to the pile. In a mission field already plagued with all sorts of Scriptural perversion and division. Time and time again, Satan’s influence causing damage.
Friends, pay close attention. A different gospel will not open the door into Christ. A different gospel will remove you from the location of blessing, the church (which we ought to seek ye first - Mt. 6:33). Not only universally (Mt. 4:17), but locally (Rom. 16:16). Because a different gospel puts its source of authority in something that is not inspired, God breathed.
Paul had similar situations to deal with in Galatia. Deviants would easily capture the minds of the weak and worldly among the fold. Delinquents that would influence the flock away from the doctrine of Christ.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
The sheered would have a secure location for the sheep. With but one way in or out. The shepherd cared for the sheep. Kept foreign threat away. The sheep had the blessing of security and nourishment while the shepherd was watching. And they could go in and out to return safely inside. And if one sheep were to go missing, the shepherd would rescue him and bring him back.
The local church belongs to Christ, He is the door for entrance. Spiritual security and nourishment are found within. We go out and evangelize but we return to the pasture.
A different gospel seeks to pervert this blessing. It will remove our security in the arms of the shepherd.
Christ speaking of His prophesied, promised, and purchased kingdom to be built in Jerusalem through the outpouring power of the Holy Spirit, during the reign of the Roman Empire on the day of Pentecost, Sunday. And how the confession Peter spoke, that Christ was the Son of God, would indeed be the foundation in which the church belonging to Christ would open its doors.
“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven”
A “different gospel” perverts any of the founding tenants of doctrine. It changes the uniqueness of the kingdom/church. It changes the uniqueness of the plan of salvation. The mode of worship. Church autonomy and leadership. Fellowship. Evangelism.
God is the source.
Paul was a chosen vessel to convey the source.
No other source is spiritually credible or justified. For no other source has the keys. The Scriptures.
And so now Paul has to remind the Christians, members of the church Jesus built. Not to mess around with any teaching that does not come from the keys God delivered.
1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 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.
9 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.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Brethren, friends, and visitors. A “different gospel” perverts any of the founding tenants of doctrine. It changes the uniqueness of the church. It changes the uniqueness of the plan of salvation. The mode of worship. Church autonomy and leadership. Fellowship. Behavior. Evangelism. It is to be accursed. It has been the reason behind thousands of souls falling away from the local congregation. It destroys unity. It removes us from God.
16 Salute one another with an holy kiss (common greeting - “a hand shake, or hug” - whatever the decent customs of culture deems a warm welcoming). The churches of Christ salute you.
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Perhaps yourself and loved ones, this day have been manipulated throughout the years within different churches built by different gospel by all sorts of different men? Perhaps you’ve never been set free from different gospels masquerading as angels of light?
Christ once asked, “John’s baptism — was it from heaven, or of human origin?” (Luke 20:4)
Ask yourself, the current belief and church you attend. Is it from heaven, or of human origin?
“Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved. Whoever does not believe shall be damned.” - Christ (Mk. 16:16)
Any other gospel is from human origin and is to be accursed. Please don’t be accursed along with it.
If you are a repentant believer confessing Christ as your Lord and Master, denying yourself for the cause of His kingdom. You qualify to have your sins washed away this very day by the power of God. A spiritual operation taking place as you humble yourself and submit yourself to the will of the gospel.
We are simple servants eagerly praying to help plunge you into the water. You will be born again out of water. Now a Christian added to His church, where He is head, and all spiritual blessings are found.
Anyone telling you otherwise is lying and is accursed.
Or perhaps this day, you are a fallen soul seeking renewal. Damaged by the separation caused by a different gospel? Contact us now, reach out, repent and be renewed while you still live.
Stay focused and stay positive. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
Till next time. Lord willing. God bless.