Don’t be a turncoat

Slices

Prepare

Ask God to give you courage to serve Christ alone.

Bible passage

Galatians 1:1–10

1 Paul, an apostle – sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead – and all the brothers and sisters with me,

To the churches in Galatia:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

No other gospel

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 – which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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! 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!

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

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Grace and peace to you’ (v 3), Paul begins. Here is the starting point for our disagreements with other believers: we are all in relationship with God through Christ alone and are at peace with God through him. Yet, as Paul protests to these Galatian Christians, there can be no tolerance of those who would add to God’s free gift of salvation (v 6).

From our perspective, we might imagine that Paul was angered by Jewish believers who wanted to impose Old Testament laws on new Gentile Christians. Paul stamps firmly on this dangerous inclination. Such teaching was saying that God’s work through Jesus wasn’t enough (v 7). It is imperative that the church understands salvation is through Christ alone. Today, in different ways, we may still find ourselves in danger of wanting to add to the sufficiency of Christ’s gospel.

The issues we face may appear different. Yet perhaps we are also tempted to turn away from the true gospel, the completeness of God’s gift in Jesus. We hear voices that persuade us to be like this or do that. It’s easy to find ourselves overwhelmed by wanting to please others (v 10), rather than seeking to serve Christ alone (v 10). So, Paul pleads, don’t turn away from him (v 6).

Author
'Tricia Williams

Respond

Sing or say to God the words of this song: ‘In Christ alone my hope is found / … / This cornerstone, this solid ground / … / Here in the love of Christ I stand.’*

*Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, copyright © 2001, Thankyou Music

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