This Week's Focus Passage

Galatians 1:6 ‘A different gospel.’

Galatians 1:6 ‘A different gospel.’

The devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. And he is well able, we are informed, to transform himself into an angel of light. His fervent desire and plan is to take down the King of glory, the Son of God, the Savior of the world. In order to bring this about, he exercises the fullness of his duplicity and hatred against mankind in order to keep them under bondage unto himself. He has endless means at his disposal to accomplish his diabolical will. Ever since he was cast down from heaven, from being among the ‘sons of God,’ he has been insanely jealous of the true and only-begotten Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. He hates the truth and especially the One who is Truth incarnate. He will do anything that he can to displace Christ from His throne. He was a liar from the beginning and he remains a liar as he continues in his attempts to subvert the gospel of Christ with ‘another gospel’ that is not the true gospel.

Paul has provided at the outset of this epistle to the churches of Galatia, a beautiful synopsis of the true gospel in his desire to remind his readers of just what that true gospel is and what it has done for them. He pronounces, in verses 3-5;

Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father: to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The words here employed by our apostle; in particular, the words, according to the will of our God and Father, speak of the source of this deliverance from the bondage of sin. It shouldn’t surprise if this language were to remind us of the words found in the first chapter of the gospel according to John, and verses 12-13;

He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them he gave the right [or, power] to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

This expression used here by ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved,’ was anticipatory of that grand language of Jesus Himself when He informed Nicodemus and all those in the hearing of His words, ye must be born again; Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew [or, again, or, from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God. It was asked, ‘how can these things be?’ The answer given by the Christ was;

The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

The answer was that the new birth is the monergistic work of God the Holy Spirit. Monergistic. Simply put, it is the sole and only work of God. This is opposed to synergism; any combined activity of more than one. Synergism is defined, in Webster’s New World Dictionary, very simply as ‘working together,’ or, ‘combined action.’ This is directly contrary to monergism which speaks of any work or activity being the product of one source, or of one power.   

It may be declared that to add anything, or to attempt to add anything at all to the gospel of Jesus Christ would constitute that ‘gospel’ as ‘another gospel.’ 2 Corinthians 11:14; Paul, in warning God’s people regarding the craftiness of the devil, tells them, in no uncertain terms, And no marvel; for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light. Could he not, therefore, fashion ‘another gospel’ into a gospel of light?  In the case of the Galatians, he is writing to fend off the addition of circumcision as necessary unto salvation. He writes later on, in chapter five, in a profoundly sad utterance, that those who would add anything to Christ, are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace: profoundly sad that any would exchange, for any other thing, the blood of Christ. Yet this is as true in our own day and every other day between the times of Paul unto today that such a multitude are ready to imitate those following ‘a different gospel.’

As we have intimated above, synergism is a prime attraction employed by the evil one to entice man to embrace ‘a different gospel.’ Great numbers have been led to follow such a course. Think of Arminiansim, and its counterpart, Catholicism. It is freely granted that there are those that would shudder at any comparison between these two religions. The fact is that Roman Catholicism is just another form of blatant Arminianism which insists upon making the will of man to be equally essential to the will of God in bringing about the salvation of anyone. We happily enjoin the words of Martin Luther—one who seldom minced words—to wrap up our thoughts.

Writing upon Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, he held nothing back, saying:

      “Mark here diligently, that every teacher of works and of the righteousness of the law, is a troubler of the Church and of the consciences of men. And who would ever have believed that the Pope, cardinals, bishops, monks, and that whole synagogue of Satan, specially the founders of those religious orders (of which number, nevertheless, God might save some by miracle) were troublers of men’s consciences? Yea, verily, they be yet far worse than were the false apostles; for the false apostles taught, that besides faith in Christ, the works of the law of God were also necessary to salvation; but the Papists, omitting faith, have taught men’s traditions and works not commanded of God, but devised by themselves without and against the Word of God: and these have they not only made equal with the Word of God, but also exalted them far above it. But the more holy the heretics seem to be in outward shew, so much the more mischief they do; for if the false apostles had not been endued with notable gifts, with great authority, and a shew of holiness, and had not vaunted themselves to be Christ’s ministers, the apostles, disciples, and sincere preachers of the Gospel, they could not so easily have defaced Paul’s authority, and led the Galatians out of the way.” Let him who thinks he stands, take heed.


David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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