I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I need to use it for my business and to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, however, it’s full of FAKE NEWS! Moreover, it’s really hard to distinguish what’s true and what’s fake! You have to go to resources like Snopes or Just Facts to verify if it’s true or not.
Likewise it is with the Good News of Jesus Christ or the Gospel. How do you know that the church you’re attending is preaching the true Gospel? You read the Bible! You have 27 books in the New Testament that reveal, preach, explain and prophesy the Good News of the true salvation of Jesus Christ. [Related: Who Wrote the Gospels?] The problem is, some churches don’t encourage you to read the Bible for yourself. At least the Roman Catholic Church I grew up in didn’t. My parents didn’t either. They didn’t know better. They, too, were raised Catholic.
The Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Galatians
Scholars say that that letter to the “churches of Galatia” may have been the first epistle that Paul wrote. Probably because he explains in the first chapter where he got his knowledge of the Gospel of Christ. Why is he an authority? He’s the “Johnny-come-lately” of the apostles. He encountered Jesus after the resurrection. He was one of the Pharisees who’s stood by and watched Stephen get stoned to death (Acts 7).
So what was the fake gospel that the Galatians were following? Here’s the first chapter. Pay close attention….
Galatians Chapter 1
This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.
2 All the brothers and sisters here join me in sending this letter to the churches of Galatia.
3 May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 4 Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. 5 All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
There Is Only One Good News
6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News 7 but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.
8 Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. 9 I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed. [or anathema]
10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Paul’s Message Comes from Christ
11 Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. 12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. 14 I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors.
15 But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him 16 to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.
When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. 17 Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.
18 Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie.
21 After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And still the churches in Christ that are in Judea didn’t know me personally. 23 All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” 24 And they praised God because of me.Galatians 1 NLT
Uncovering False Doctrine
The letter to the Galatians has been called the “Magna Carta of Christian Liberty”. Is that what your church is preaching?
If the Apostle Paul visited your church today — whether it’s Roman Catholic or Protestant Progressive — would he find that they’re preaching the truth or a false doctrine — a perversion of the Gospel of Christ?
The following is from a Bible Study on Galatians chapter 1 in the Bible App by John Stott…
In the cross the will of the Father and the will of the Son were in perfect harmony.
The Galatians are religious turncoats, spiritual deserters. They are turning away from him who called them in the grace of Christ and are embracing another gospel. The true gospel is good news of a God who is gracious to undeserving sinners. But the Galatian converts, who had received this gospel of grace, were now turning away to another gospel, a gospel of works.
The false teachers who were influencing them were evidently “Judaizers.” They did not deny that you must believe in Jesus for salvation, but they stressed that you must be circumcised and keep the law as well. In other words, by your obedience to the law you must finish what Christ has begun. You must add your works to the work of Christ.
This doctrine Paul simply will not tolerate. Add human merits to the merit of Christ and human works to the work of Christ? God forbid! The work of Christ is a finished work; the gospel of Christ is a gospel of free grace. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, without any admixture of human works or merits. It is due solely to God’s gracious call and not to any good works of our own.
To turn from the gospel of grace is to turn from the God of grace.
Why did Paul feel so strongly and use such drastic language? Two reasons are plain. The first is that the glory of Christ was at stake. To make human works necessary to salvation, even as a supplement to the work of Christ, is derogatory to his finished work. It implies that Christ’s work was in some way unsatisfactory and that people need to add to it and improve on it. The second reason is that the good of people’s souls was also at stake. Paul was not writing about some trivial doctrine but about something fundamental to the gospel. Nor was he speaking of those who merely hold false views, but of those who teach them and mislead others by their teaching.
The true gospel is the gospel of grace, of God’s free and unmerited favor. Whenever teachers start exalting humankind, implying that we can contribute anything to our salvation by our own morality, religion, philosophy, or respectability, the gospel of grace is being corrupted. The true gospel magnifies the free grace of God.
The second test concerns the gospel’s origin. The true gospel is the gospel of the apostles of Jesus Christ—the New Testament gospel. But where did Paul get this wonderful gospel? Was it the product of his own fertile brain? Did he make it up? Or was it stale secondhand stuff with no original authority? …
Paul’s answer to these questions is found in verses 11 and 12. “I preached this gospel,” Paul could say, “but I did not invent it. Nor did I receive it from others, as if it were already an accepted tradition handed down from a previous generation. Nor was I taught it, so that I had to learn it from human teachers.” Instead, “it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”From Reading Galatians with John Stott by John Stott with Dale and Sandy Larsen.
False Doctrines in Today’s Churches
The Roman Catholic early church leaders “invented” most of the false doctrine that they teach. I’m going to be doing a deep-dive study on “Where Catholicism Went Wrong”. I’ll also include a deep-dive biography of the Apostle Peter.
For now, we’ll go through the Book of Galatians and reveal the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Similar to what Paul said… I didn’t invent this. I got it from the Bible — the definitive Word of God.
Read the Bible!
Recommended Bible Study Apps:
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!