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Author: Ron Graham

Hard to Hear God

No Other Gospel
—Galatians 1:8-9

A curse is a bad thing. Nobody wants one. Well then, we had all better test the gospel we preach with the gospel Paul preached. Do we match, or do we differ?

What Paul says to the Galatians, in chapter 1 verses 8 and 9, will be offensive to some people. They will find it hard to hear. Why is that so? Well, Paul is not "inclusive" in what he says. The gospel that God gave him is the only true one. Whoever holds to a different doctrine is under a curse.

Galatians 1:8

Galatians 1:8-9

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. 9As 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” (Galatians 1:8-9 NKJV).

1 No One is Excepted

Paul says, "If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8-9 NKJV).

There is no exception that allows someone to preach some other gospel. The curse applies to "anyone" who preaches "any other gospel."

So without exception Paul opposes anyone who preaches a gospel different to his. Paul will recognise no preacher except one who preaches Paul’s gospel.

Peter Too Allows No Exceptions

Peter likewise allows no exception. He says, "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God." (1Peter 4:11 NKJV).

If somebody says, "Pass the butter please", that's not the kind of speaking that Peter has in mind. But if somebody says, "Jesus is imaginary" and somebody else says, "Jesus is God", both preachers are tested by the authority of God’s oracles. One speaker is proved to be in error, while the other speaker is proved right.

1Note:— ORACLES (1) prophets and apostles, and (2) what they speak or write —in other words Scripture.

The speaking that Peter refers to may be done in a church meeting, a Bible class, a public speech, or a private conversation. Anyone who speaks on behalf of God, or claims to speak the truth of God, must speak in harmony with the gospel that the oracles of God teach.

Remember the penalty for speaking otherwise is a curse upon the speaker. The only way to avoid the curse is to make correction. Nobody is excepted.

2 No Other Gospel

Paul looks at this same truth from the opposite angle. He made up his own mind not to know anything, but he filled that void with one exception: "For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1Corinthians 2:2 NKJV).

Paul did not learn his gospel when he went to the synagogue or sat at the feet of a great teacher. He did both, but he says of the gospel that he preaches, "I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:12 NKJV).

We are so fortunate to have the writings of Paul and his fellow apostles like Peter, James, and John. We can learn directly from them what they learned directly from the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised them "the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you" (John 14:26 NKJV).

There is One Faith

The gospel is also known as "the faith" and Paul says, "There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism..." (Ephesians 4:5 NKJV).

The one faith of which Paul speaks is "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3 NKJV).

It is commonly claimed that there are many faiths, each a pathway to glory. But Jesus spoke of only one such pathway. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6 NKJV).

So the gospel of Christ is one gospel, one faith, and any other gospel, any other faith, is false and those who preach a false gospel are accursed unless corrected.

Apollos is a good example of a preacher who was corrected. He had been teaching acurately the things of the Lord except for one fault. Aquila and Priscilla "explained to him the way of the Lord more accurately" (Acts 18:24-28 NKJV).

Apollos was corrected, not cursed, and everyone was happy including the Lord.

3 No Less than a Curse

Unfortunately many who speak in error concerning religious matters are not like Apollos. They are unwilling to be corrected. Now they may be good people on many counts, but if they insist on speaking some gospel different to the Biblical gospel, then Paul pronounces them "accursed" (Galatians 1:8-9 NKJV).

Now this curse is not cast by you or me. We have no right to curse anybody. Not even Paul claimed that power. It is the Lord alone who can bless or curse according to his own terms.

God Casts the Curse

When Paul says of someone with a different gospel, "Let him be accursed" he is agreeing with the Lord, but the Lord casts the curse and the condemnation.

Paul says to the Galatians, "All who rely on the works of the law are under a curse..." (Galatians 3:10, Deuteronomy 27:26).

Those who insist that Christians should keep the law of Moses are preaching a false gospel. Now we ask who casts the curse upon them and their followers? God does. The same applies to any false gospel.

Someone will say, "The gospel is good news; so how can there be a curse in it ?" In the gospel, the curse is a snare to be escaped. The way of escape is good news.

The gospel includes the message about sinners being cursed and punished. The good news is that they can escape that punishment through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). The God who imposed the curse can also lift it. However, it is a curse no less, and God will lift it only on his terms.


Webservant Ron Graham

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