The True Gospel
Growth in knowledge of the Cross must involve rejecting wrong teaching. Paul said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel…11 But I make known to you, brethren that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Let us see 4 reasons as to why Paul was unhappy about the Christians in Galatia.
First, because the Christians were deserting the One who had called them to faith in Christ Jesus. Deserting is a very strong word. In fact it was a military term. It does not only mean “you are removed from service and you can go with dishonourable dismissal.” The Greek word in the original language means “metatithesthe” for “deserting” They were deserting the Christian Camp, like military desertion which was punishable by death. The Galatian Christians were embracing the new teaching brought by legalistic people and false teachers.
Second, Paul was agitated because embracing legalism means rejecting God. Paul said in v 6. “who called you in the grace of Christ.” This is the nature of the true Gospel demonstrated on the cross. (a) it is of God, for God does the calling; (b) it is grace rather than of merit. By grace and by grace alone.
Third, Paul was so unhappy, because the Galatians Christians were deserting God “so soon” according to v. 6, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him.” They may be young believers and did not know the sufficiency of God’s grace. And therefore did not fully see the significance of the cross. These Judaizers were false teachers who taught that to be fully Christian one must have faith in Christ and must obey all the ceremonial laws.
Fourth, Paul’s agitation results from the fact that by embracing legalism, the Galatians have actually turned their back on the Gospel in order to embrace “a different gospel” which does not deserve to be called by that name. It is not a true gospel. A “so called gospel” that does not proclaim that justification is by grace alone, through faith alone, is no gospel at all. They were turning the message of God’s undeserved favour (grace) towards sinners into a message of earned and merit favour.
In the 21st century, we need to be careful with false teaching through songs, (lots of them) and lots of TV evangelists who preach ‘prosperity gospel’ ‘ new revelation’, ‘false healing’ ‘word of faith’. Their music has poor theology which deceives many of our young people. They are not the ‘true gospel of Christ’ so please be careful! The true Gospel is a Gospel of Grace. All by grace and by grace alone!