The Gospel & False Teachers

What’s it all about? The false teachers were claiming that a person must adhere to religious rituals or moral standards in order to be justified by God. According to Paul, those who preach this counterfeit gospel will be judged accordingly. The Apostle was confident, however, that the believers in Galatia would not be swayed by the false teachers or their counterfeit gospels.

So what? Our response to counterfeit gospels and the charlatans who teach them must be gospel-centered.

First, we must be grounded in the gospel (salvation by grace through faith in Christ’s substitutionary and sacrificial death). 

Second, we must equip other believers to know the gospel and how to defend it.

Third, we must evangelize the false teachers.

Fourth, we must refuse to compromise the gospel.  

Questions from the Text:

1. What is the primary objective of false teachers (5:7-9)?

2. Who is the source of the gospel? What is the source of the counterfeits (5:8)?

3. Why was Paul confident that the false teachers would not win over the believers in Galatia (5:10; cf. Philippians 1:6)?

4. Why is the cross a stumbling block for those who reject the gospel (5:11; cf. 1st Corinthians 1:22-23)?

Now, what? First, we must not put our trust or confidence solely in a preacher/teacher because people can and will err. Second, our confidence and hope must be in the Lord Jesus Christ and not ourselves. Third, when our faith is challenged or when doubt creeps in, we must look to God who will complete what He has begun in us (Galatians 5:10; Philippians 1:6).

the gospel and false teachers[7] You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? [8] This persuasion is not from him who calls you. [9] A little leaven leavens the whole lump. [10] I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. [11] But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. [12] I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! (Galatians 5:7-12 ESV)

Small Group Questions

Scripture: 1st Timothy 4:1-2; 2nd Timothy 2:17-18; 3:5-6; 4:3, 14-15

1. What essential doctrines do false teachers generally twist or deny?

2. What are some of the characteristics of false teachers?

3. Why are false teachers and their counterfeit gospels so dangerous?

4. What are some of the ways that the church can guard against false teaching?

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