BEWARE OF A DIFFERENT GOSPEL
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7 NKJV)
The word “gospel” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word “euangelion” meaning “glad tidings or good news of salvation through Christ.”
That we all were born sinners, dead in trespasses and sins, and alienated from the life of God is undoubtedly the truth, but indeed not any good news!
That we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and thus doomed and destined for hell is true but far from being good news.
Telling a sinner that he would die and go to hell fire is simply declaring the truth, but how is that good news to him?
Frankly speaking, the gospel that many preachers and believers proclaim today is the opposite of glad tidings. It is simply the news of condemnation and the impending doom of sinners, not the good news of justification and salvation for all men through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
The true gospel is the gospel of the grace of God, the gospel of the Kingdom of God. It is only in the revelation of God’s grace and establishment of His Kingdom on earth that there is any good news for the sinful and fallen humankind.
Jesus preached the gospel informing us that the Kingdom of God is at hand.
Mark 1:14-15 – NKJV
14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Apostle Paul also states that the ministry he has received from the Lord Jesus is “to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NKJV).
When Paul saw that the Galatians had turned away from the grace of Christ to the works of the law, he wrote to warn and rebuke them for turning from the gospel of grace to a different or another gospel.
Galatians 1:1-9 – NKJV
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
Like the Galatians, many Christians today have ignorantly and subtly turned from the true gospel (the gospel of grace) to another gospel (works).
Understanding the true gospel’s essence is the only sure antidote against imbibing the subtle deception of another gospel.
What is the essence of the gospel?
Any gospel that does not proclaim salvation as a gift provided for all men by God’s grace to be received only by faith in the person and finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ is nothing but a false gospel, a different or another gospel.
The gospel is essentially the good news that although we are sinners, deserving God’s wrath, yet out of His great love for us, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to be our substitute, bearing our punishment on the cross so that we could be justified or declared righteous in God’s sight.
Jesus became who we were so that we might become who He is. He bore our sins in His own body on the cross so that we might bear His righteousness by simply putting our faith in Him (1 Pet. 2:24).
This is the good news!
Paul reveals and affirms this truth in 2 Corinthians 5:
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NKJV).
Undoubtedly, it is not any good news to just tell a man about his sinfulness, about God’s hatred for his sins, or about his impending eternal damnation in hell fire.
Similarly, it is not any good news to merely inform a man about Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross for his sake without emphasizing or pointing it out clearly to him that salvation and all its benefits are available as a gift to him at the expense of Christ, and only to be received by faith in the person of Jesus Christ and His finished redemptive work (Eph. 2:8-9, Tit. 3:4-5).
Until we help a sinner realize or understand that he does not need first to change his lifestyle, clean up, or start living righteously before receiving the gift of salvation, we are not preaching the true gospel of the grace of God.
Sadly, we often demand a sinner to confess and forsake his sins or change his ways of life before receiving Jesus Christ.
If a sinner can forsake his sins or change his lifestyle by himself, why does he need a Saviour?
Beloved, you are perverting the gospel of grace and preaching another gospel if you prescribe or present any kind of good or religious works as a condition or prerequisite for salvation.
God demands no good work or righteousness from anyone to be saved!
All that a sinner needs to do to be saved is to simply receive the gift of salvation and all its benefits by believing and confessing Jesus Christ as His personal Lord and Saviour (Rom. 11:6).
Romans 10:8-10 – NKJV
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
When the Jailer asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31 NKJV).
If a sinner should ask you the same question today, what would be your response?
The gospel is indeed good news to sinners when they are made to understand that Jesus Christ loves, accepts, and saves sinners while they are still in their mire of sins and does not wait for them to come out and clean up before receiving and embracing them.
Beloved, like Paul, you are called “to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NKJV). And not that of the law or works, which only result in condemnation; for “by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” (Gal. 2:16 NKJV).
Anyone who proclaims or embraces another gospel (salvation by works of the law or by a mixture of faith and works) is simply under the curse of the law and yet to be justified and redeemed in the sight of God.
Paul warns us against this.
Galatians 3:10 – NKJV
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” (NKJV).
Friend, beware of preaching, promoting, or propagating any gospel different from that of the gospel of the grace of God!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace that brought salvation to humankind. I proclaim today that I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by my good works or righteousness. I shall proclaim, promote, and propagate only the gospel of the grace of God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.