Lesson notes are available for free by leaving your email address with the speaker or by writing email@example.com Another Gospel?
(Gal. 1:6-7a) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Another Gospel?
(Gal 1:8) But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! Another Gospel?
(Gal. 1:9) As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Another Gospel?
Another Gospel? Two Questions: • What is this “different gospel”? • Are we guilty of this sin?
What were the Galatians doing that was so incredibly wrong? Paul doesn't say until chapter 5! Another Gospel?
(Gal. 5:2-3) Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. Another Gospel?
What about circumcision is so wrong? (Gal 5:4) You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. Another Gospel?
Another Gospel? • (Gal. 2:15) “We … know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.” • “the law” is actually “works of law”
Another Gospel? • (Gal 2:16) “So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” • Again, there is no “the” before “law” in the Greek
Another Gospel? • And so, what is “law”? • And why does seeking justification through “law” cost you your soul?
Another Gospel? • Notice that the Galatian heresy was seeking to be saved by law (Gal. 5:4) You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. • The Galatian heresy is in seeking salvation in law, not in obeying or teaching law
Another Gospel? • Two theories: • The Law of Moses • Works of law, meaning, any works intended to merit salvation
Another Gospel? • Most Church of Christ commentaries support “law” as being the Law of Moses • What would this mean regarding— • Treating Sunday as the Christian Sabbath? • Wearing Sunday “best” because Leviticus commands that we give our best to God? • Circumcising our children? • Do these practices damn?
Another Gospel? • So what's “law”? (Rom 2:12) All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
Another Gospel? (Rom 2:14-15) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
Another Gospel? (Rom 3:22-24) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
In other words, Gentiles are condemned because they fail to satisfy the law written on their hearts just as the Jews fail to satisfy the Law of Moses Plainly, “law” means God's commands, whether or not found in the Law of Moses Another Gospel?
The major evangelical commentaries all agree: “law” refers to anything, other than faith in Jesus, that you count on for salvation Another Gospel?
Another Gospel? “It is impossible to receive Christ, thereby acknowledging that you cannot save yourself, and then receive circumcision, thereby claiming that you can. You have got to choose between a religion of law and a religion of grace, between Christ and circumcision. …
Another Gospel? “You cannot add circumcision (or anything else, for that matter) to Christ as necessary for salvation, because Christ is sufficient for salvation in Himself. If you add anything to Christ, you lose Christ.” • John R. W. Stott, The Message of Galatians, 133-134.
“Law” is the same as “works” (Gal 2:16 KJV) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Another Gospel?
“Another gospel” is seeking salvation through works rather than faith! Another Gospel?
Romans 14 gives examples Another Gospel?
(Rom 14:1) Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. This applies only to those in the church, of course. But if we in the church are disputing about a matter, how can it not be disputable? Another Gospel?
(Rom 14:2-3) One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Another Gospel?
(Rom 14:5a) One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. In Romans, Paul doesn't bother to say who is right on the sacred-day issue. Why not? Another Gospel?
(Rom 14:4-5b) Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. ... Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. Another Gospel?
(Rom 14:6) He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. Another Gospel?
(Rom 14:10) You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. Another Gospel?
(Rom 14:13a) Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Another Gospel?
Notice this: The Romans were disputing about matters of doctrine! And Paul commanded them to stop passing judgment. This is so even though Paul gave the right position on eating meat (and even though he didn't bother stating the right position on sacred days)! Another Gospel?
If Paul knew the right answer, why was it still wrong to pass judgment? Why were they commanded to “accept” those teaching falsely? Who among us is comfortable saying “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind”? Another Gospel?
(Rom 14:4) Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. Another Gospel?
Grace applies to doctrine as well as conduct! Grace applies to disputable matters—which is anything we can dispute over and still be Christians! Another Gospel?
(Rom 15:7) Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Another Gospel?
We are commanded to accept as fellow Christians all who remain true to what brought them salvation— even if we disagree about something else Another Gospel?
Therefore, insisting on adherence to any doctrine, other than the gospel itself, as the ground of our salvation is a work and creates another gospel We must accept one another based on the gospel and nothing else, because the gospel is how we were accepted Another Gospel?
By “gospel” I mean those terms on which we were accepted at the beginning: Hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized Grace covers doctrinal sin as well as moral sin, so long as we remain true to the gospel Another Gospel?
And insisting on adherence to more than the gospel as essential to salvation risks teaching another gospel! Another Gospel?
H. A. (Buster) Dobbs, “Does Grace Guarantee Final Salvation?” The Firm Foundation (September 1996): “We are required to keep every specific of the law of Christ, if we receive spiritual blessings, which include forgiveness and the promise of eternal salvation. … “The grace of God guarantees our final salvation. This, of course, does not mean grace alone, but grace accessed by faith, which includes works of obedience.” Another Gospel?
Paul says that if you add any law to the gospel as a condition to salvation, then you’ve made yourself accountable for every law as a condition to salvation, and thereby you’ve fallen from grace. Another Gospel?
Another Gospel? • Being wrong and being lost are two very different things, and we sometimes get them confused. If being wrong damns, then there is no grace and Christ died for nothing.
Another Gospel? Phil Sanders, The Christian Chronicle (Feb. 2006), 18-19: “I believe baptized believers in the Independent Christian Church are my brethren, since everyone who is scripturally born of water and the Spirit is a child of God …
Another Gospel “Should those who worship with instruments forsake them, I would gladly seek some relationship with them.” How can they be our brothers and yet we refuse to seek some relationship with them?
Another Gospel? • This is the part where I hope I’m wrong
You see, in teaching that certain doctrines other than the gospel are essential to salvation, we’re effectively saying that to be saved, you not only must hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized, you must also join a congregation with a scriptural name, with a scriptural organization, and with a scriptural pattern of worship. Another Gospel?
I fail to see how insisting on these rules as conditions to salvation is any different from insisting on circumcision as a condition to salvation. Either way, you’re insisting on obedience to a law in addition to the gospel. Another Gospel?
Another Gospel? • The gospel is meant to take us away from legalism. • The imposition of any rule as a requirement for salvation —even a single morally neutral rule — beyond the gospel is a return to legalism and damnation.