Some of my favorite talks to write while in student ministry, and as a volunteer Young Life leader, were those directly about the gospel. I enjoyed writing these because I was constantly reminded about the profound nature of the gospel’s power. But when times get hard and my faith is tested, I can distort the foundational truths of my salvation. It seems to make my situation a bit more tolerable. In doing so, though, I desert the true gospel and push myself away from the only truth that brings life. In today’s passage, Paul rebuked this mindset, as it is displeasing to God.
- When was the last time you deserted the power of the gospel, and why?
READ THE WORD: GALATIANS 1:6-10 (ESV)
6 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— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 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. 9 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.
10 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.
- What was Paul speaking out against (vs. 6)?
- List the words he used to describe this “contrary” gospel (vss. 6-7)?
- Under what motive was this false gospel being preached (vs. 10)?
- In the church today, what are the consequences of teaching a false gospel?
- In what ways do you distort the gospel by seeking man’s approval over God’s?
RESPOND TO GOD
Paul’s rebuke of teaching and accepting a false gospel was harsh and direct. He knew the grave consequences of this occurrence inside the church. Paul’s strong defense of the gospel is a reminder to us of the power it has. Even today, however, false gospels are present. Whether through legalism or prosperity theology, the pleasing of man is placed over the pleasing of God by churches and individual Christians. Yet the gospel has the same power when things are good or bad. God takes delight when the one, true gospel is placed above all of our fears and worries.
- Ask God to open your heart to the ways you have believed lies instead of the truth of the gospel.