Wednesday, May 20, 2015

THE DANGER OF A DIFFERENT GOSPEL

Article by Stacey Eutin

When reading Galatians, I ask myself, could Paul have been writing this letter to the church today?
I remember when I first got saved, met Jesus. Let me tell you, He took my heart in His hands, made it flesh, and He breathed life into me. I felt Him so close to me I expected to look in the mirror and see Him looking back at me.

He made everything new in me and He gave me new eyesight. I began to look at His creation and people differently. He filled me with so much of His love I just wanted to share it with everyone. The sky was bluer, the grass greener, and the birds seemed to even sing in symphony.

He gave me such a hunger for Him, I couldn’t get enough of Him.

I devoured His Word. Every opportunity I could take I was reading the Word. It was life to me! I took everything written at face value, I believed every word to be truth.

I could not get enough of Him or His people. I saturated myself in Him. I had a freedom I had never experienced before.  

I thank Him for those precious times of refreshing and renewal. It strengthened me, healed me, and girded me up… because I soon learned not everyone experienced what I experienced. Not everyone took His Word as truth. Not everyone walked in the freedom He gave us.

I believe this is what Paul was referring to in Galatians 1:6-7 when He said:
I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting Him Who invited and called you by the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ (the Messiah) [and that you are transferring your allegiance] to a different [even an opposition] gospel. Not that there is [or could be] any other [genuine Gospel], but there are [obviously] some who are troubling and disturbing and bewildering you [with a different kind of teaching which they offer as a gospel] and want to pervert and distort the Gospel of Christ (the Messiah) [into something which it absolutely is not]. (AMP)
This is what was happening to the Galatians; other “teachers” came in after Paul and tried to put the church back under bondage. They were teaching laws and rules and the church began to be led astray.

When we have been made free through our faith in Christ, we produce fruits of righteousness, through His Spirit. We can NOT produce righteousness through the law, or through works.

Let us not forget it is Gods kindness that led us to repentance.
It wasn’t the law.
It wasn’t rules.
It was His goodness. 

We are called by Him, not because of our own righteousness, but by His grace and mercy. 

The moment we start thinking we have to perform, or our salvation is merited somehow because we are “good” people, is the minute we turn from His grace. When we turn from His grace, we are in all reality, turning from Him and turning to false idols.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
Anything that comes before Christ is a false idol. In Calvin’s commentary on Galatians 1:6 he states, “They are full of superstitions, which are directly at variance with the nature of Christ. Let it be carefully observed, that we are removed from Christ, when we fall into those views which are inconsistent with his mediatorial office; for light can have no fellowship with darkness.”

What was the early church turning away from? They were turning from grace, the unmerited favor of Christ.

Now, I am not a Bible Scholar, by any measure… but I submit they were under the bondage of works. I know you know what I am talking about.

Works sounds something like this: “I have to…” “You have to…” “We have too…”  
And anything that starts with the words “have to” puts you in bondage.
You don’t have to do anything!

Fellowship with Christ will create in you a desire of “want to.” Anytime you feel a fear rising up, it is not of Him. (See 1 John 4:18)

It is not the hours of time you spend in prayer that saves you, although prayer is a staple of fellowship with Him.

It is not how many times you enter a church door, though fellowship with the body strengthens you.

It is not how you wear your hair, the clothes you wear, who you know, what you eat, circumcised or uncircumcised...I think you get my point.

When you start feeling condemnation, recognize it is not of God.

Yes, you will and should feel conviction when you sin, but if you start feeling condemnation because you do not do a “certain” ritual or thing to earn your salvation, remember this… you can NOT earn your salvation, it is a gift from God.

What was happening in the early church, is still happening today. Paul rebuked the early church from so quickly turning away from the true Gospel.

I like what Jesus said in Matthew 23:27-28, 
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you are like tombs that have been whitewashed, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything impure. Just so, you also outwardly seem to people to be just and upright but inside you are full of pretense and lawlessness and iniquity. (AMP)
The moment we turn from the true Gospel of Christ, His grace, (see v.4) 
Who gave (yielded) Himself up [to atone] for our sins [and to save and sanctify us], in order to rescue and deliver us from this present wicked age and world order, in accordance with the will and purpose and plan of our God and Father- (AMP)
is the moment we turn from Him.

Turning from His grace, is rejecting Him, for it was this very purpose Christ came, because there is NO other way to salvation but through Him.

In these last days there will be many who fall away. Do not be one of them.

There is an anti-Christ spirit rising up, and it wants to sweep you up into bondage of works, place you back under the law, and turn you away from the One true Christ.

I will close with Galatians 1: 8-9, 
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)! As we said before, so I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel different from or contrary to that which you received [from us], let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)! (AMP)
Seek to please God, not man.

You please Him with your faith in Him. 
Love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. The second is like it and is this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. (Mk. 12:30-31 AMP)
Selah!

This article is a guest post by

I will go before you and level the mountains (to make the crooked places straight); I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron.  Isaiah 45:2

My tent making skills are as an Organizational Development Consultant, but my calling is Evangelist. I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel the country and share His redemptive love. I met Jesus in my early thirties and my life has not been the same. The ministry He has given me is through spoken and written word, to lead the lost to Him, bring healing to the wounded, and hope for the hurting. You can learn more about me and Crooked Places Straight at  https://crookedplacesstraight.wordpress.com


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