What’s it all about? Paul is amazed that the Galatians are allowing others to add religious rituals and good works to the grace of God that is theirs in Jesus Christ. He informs the Christians in Galatia that no other message, regardless of who is preaching it, can compete with or compare to the gospel that he has received and made known to them.
So what? We must reject all messages, claims, and worldviews that conflict with or contradict the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. In order to guard against false teachers and counterfeit messages, we must know the source and substance of the biblical gospel.
Questions from the Text:
1. What constitutes a counterfeit gospel?
2. Why does Paul describe the false teachers as cursed (1:8-9)?
3. Who was Paul trying to please, God or people (1:10)?
Now what? Like the Galatians, we too can be susceptible to false teachers, that is, if we don’t know what is clearly taught in the Word of God. Therefore, we must ensure that we know and have applied the gospel of Jesus Christ to our lives. Additionally, we must avoid the temptation to add good works or religious rituals to the grace of God. Finally, we must place our complete trust in the death of Jesus Christ as both satisfying the wrath of God and paying for our sin in full.
Jesus + Nothing = Salvation!
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:6-10 ESV).
Small Group Questions
Scripture: John 14:1-7; 1st Timothy 2:5-7 (full scriptural citations below)
1. Why is there only one gospel?
2. How can we detect a false gospel?
3. Do all religions lead to God?
4. How can we please God?
5. What must a person believe and do to become a Christian?
John 14:1-7: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
1 Timothy 2:5-7: For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.