I’m continuing in my reading of Galatians. I’m taking it pretty slowly as you can see, only 4 or 5 verses at a time. However, it’s quite nice to chew over small sections of scripture, rather than blitz through them. Slow and steady wins the race – at least, I hope so.
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!Galatians 1:6-9 (NIV)
One of my favourite hymns is “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”.
It’s a really beautiful summary of the gospel.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
However, in the final stanza, it talks about wandering hearts.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
This is what appears to have happened in Galatia. Their hearts have wandered to another gospel. What I find interesting is that it’s not the Galatians that receive the condemnation, but those who are leading them astray.
It makes me want to ask a series of questions:
- What false versions of the gospel are being preached in our churches right now?
- Where have I turned to another gospel or been thrown into confusion?
- Have I ever preached a false gospel? Do I need to repent of this?
I’m sure there are false gospels being preached. There are quite a few things I feel particularly weary of, but I’m not sure if it’s just my personality and personal prejudices rather than actual prophetic concern. So, I’ll probably leave it for another post after a good, long, hard think. However, this article suggests a few.
Also, I’m sure I’ve been thrown into confusion. I need the Holy Spirit to guide me and help me in this. I need the Holy Spirit to bind my heart to the one true gospel. Indeed, O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Finally, I know I have bumbled and blustered my way through an attempt at evangelising. In some cases, I probably butchered the gospel. If my failed attempts moved people away from moving God instead of towards, I truly repent. Fortunately, it’s not actually my job to convict people of their need of Christ, it’s the Holy Spirit’s. His power to do this if far greater than my power to ruin it. It’s not an excuse or a glib dismissal of what I did, but it’s reassuring nonetheless. Again, O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!