"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Perversions Of The Gospel (1:6-10) INTRODUCTION 1. As soon as Paul began his epistle to the Galatians, he expressed concern... a. Marveling they were turning so soon to a different gospel - Ga 1:6 b. Letting themselves be troubled by some perverting the gospel of Christ - Ga 1:7 2. It is important to know the difference between the pure gospel and perverted gospels... a. To accept a different gospel is to be accursed - Ga 1:8-9 b. To not obey the true gospel is to face condemnation
- cf. 2Th 1:7-8; 1Pe 4:17 [Today we need to be just as concerned about "Perversions Of The Gospel". Are we aware of how some have perverted the gospel of Christ? There has been at least four such perversions...] I. THE GOSPEL OF FAITH PLUS THE LAW A. THIS PERVERSION EXPLAINED... 1. This 'gospel' was the problem Paul faced in his day 2. Some Jewish Christians demanded that Gentiles had to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses as well as obey the gospel of Christ - Ac 15:1-5; Ga 2:1-5 B. THIS PERVERSION REFUTED... 1. At the council in Jerusalem - Ac 15:22-31 2. In the epistle to the Galatians - Ga 5:1-6 3. In other epistles of Paul (e.g., Romans, Colossians) [Note carefully that those who seek to be justified by the Law fall from grace (Ga 5:4). This illustrates the danger of accepting a 'perverted gospel'. Another such 'gospel' is...] II. THE GOSPEL OF WORKS WITHOUT FAITH A. THIS PERVERSION EXPLAINED... 1. This 'gospel' developed later in the course of church history 2. It exalted the efficacy of certain ordinances to the exclusion of faith 3. Thus some believed you could baptize others without the need of faith a. Such as infant baptism b. Such as infidel baptism (e.g., at the point of a sword) B. THIS PERVERSION REFUTED... 1. Faith is essential to pleasing God and our salvation - He 11:6; Jn 8:24; Mk 16:16 2. Repentance of sins and faith in Christ are prerequisites to baptism - Ac 2:38; 8:35-37 3. It is faith in the working of God that results in rising to a new life - Col 2:12-13 [A popular perversion of the gospel is what we will call...] III. THE GOSPEL OF GOOD WORKS ONLY A. THIS PERVERSION EXPLAINED... 1. Many have the idea that as long as you are a basically 'good person', you will be saved 2. Especially if your 'good deeds' outnumber or outweigh your 'bad deeds' 3. Thus a good moral person, especially if religious, is assumed to be saved B. THIS PERVERSION REFUTED... 1. Good moral people, even devout, are in need of salvation a. Cornelius was a good, moral, devout man - Ac 10:1-6 b. Yet he needed to be saved - Ac 11:14 2. Many examples of conversion in Acts involved religiously devout people a. The 3000 on the day of Pentecost - Ac 2:5 b. The Ethiopian eunuch - Ac 8:27 c. Lydia of Thyatira - Ac 16:14 d. Paul - Ac 22:3 3. We cannot be saved by our good works - Ep 2:8-9; Tit 3:4-7 [Sometimes a perversion of the gospel leads others to overreact with another perversion...] IV. THE GOSPEL OF FAITH ONLY A. THIS PERVERSION EXPLAINED... 1. This 'gospel' proclaims that one is saved by "faith only" 2. I.e., no obedience is required, especially not baptism 3. An overreaction to salvation by works without faith, or to the gospel of good works B. THIS PERVERSION REFUTED... 1. The gospel of Christ requires obedience a. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him - He 5:9 b. Paul proclaimed what he called "the obedience of faith"
- Ro 1:5; 16:25-26 c. Paul and Peter warned of those who obeyed not the gospel - 2Th 1:7-9; 1Pe 4:17 d. We are not saved by "faith only" - cf. Jm 2:17,20,24,26 2. Many fail to distinguish between different kinds of works a. Works of the Law (of Moses), by which one is not justified - Ga 2:16 b. Meritorious works, done to earn salvation, which is impossible - Ep 2:8-9; Tit 3:4-7 c. Works of God, commanded of us to please Him - cf. Jn 6:28-29 3. Works of God are done, not to earn salvation, but to receive God's grace a. Faith in Jesus is a work of God - Jn 6:29 b. Repentance of sins is a work of God - Ac 17:30 c. Confessing Jesus is a a work of God - Ro 10:9-10 d. Such works in of themselves do not save us - cf. Lk 17:10 4. So baptism is a work of God, not a work of man a. Commanded by Jesus and His apostles - Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38; 22:16 b. In which God does the work of saving - Col 2:11-12; Tit 3:5 c. In which we put on Christ - Ga 3:26-27 d. Which, when obeyed, causes others to thank God - Ro 6:17-18; cf. 6:3-7 CONCLUSION 1. There have been other perverted gospels... a. Such as Gnosticism, which denied Jesus coming in the flesh b. Such as Mormonism, which proclaims a different gospel based upon 'angelic revelation' 2. We need to be careful to receive the gospel preached by the apostles... a. Even angelic revelations are to be rejected if different from what the apostles' preached b. Otherwise we will be accursed 3. The pure gospel of Christ may not be popular, but who are we trying to please...? a. If it is men, then we are not true servants of Christ - Ga 1:10 b. If it is the majority, we are on the wrong path - Mt 7:13-14 Is the gospel you heard, received, and obeyed, the same gospel proclaimed by the apostles of Jesus Christ...? - cf. Ac 2:36-41; 8:35-38