but though we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed (Gal. 1:8–9).
The word “accursed” in the Greek is “anathema,” which means “a person or thing devoted to destruction because it is hateful to God.” In a spiritual sense, it denotes one who is alienated from God by sin—the sin of rebellion against God’s Way, which is “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.” Other than blaspheming the Holy Spirit, this sin of rebellion is the worst sin one can commit. It is especially grievous when it involves Preachers, for, it is to Preachers that these words are directed.
In the words, “any other gospel,” we have in the original Text the idea, as before, that “the other gospel” was a message that went beyond that preached by Paul. It was not so much a perversion of Paul’s Gospel, but a message that was diametrically opposed to it. In character it was of an opposite nature to Paul’s Message.
When Paul uses the phrase, “Preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you,” he was not using terminology of ego. It was to Paul that the great Revelation of the Gospel of Grace was given. He said, “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:12). The reason his statements were so harsh was because he knew that any gospel “other than the message of the Cross” was fundamentally wrong! As such, if these wrong messages were followed, these perverted gospels, they would lead to destruction. One cannot have it both ways.
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (Jn. 14:6).
This means that Jesus and what He did at the Cross is the only answer for hurting humanity. As we’ve said before, we say again:
1. The only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6).
2. The only way to Jesus is through the Cross (Lk. 9:23).
3. The only way to the Cross is by a denial of self, i.e., self’s ability, which spawns self-efforts (Lk. 9:23).
Judaizers were Jews from Jerusalem and Judaea who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, but did not accept the Cross. These Judaizers were coming into the Churches in Galatia and preaching “another gospel,” which was the gospel of “law” and “works.” Paul preached that works and the Law had no place in Christianity; by Law, he was speaking of the Law of Moses, which had been fulfilled in Christ. The way to Salvation and the way to Sanctification were solely through Faith in Christ and what Christ did at the Cross. If “works” entered into this, it perverted the message, and that’s exactly what these Judaizers were doing.
So the Holy Spirit through the Apostle said that all who preach “another gospel” would be excommunicated, cursed, cast out, etc. In closing, I ask the following question:
Where does that put most modern Preachers?
Read Mark 6:1 through 7:37
Little Alexandra woke up terrified from a nightmare. Her frightened cries brought her father running into her room. He gathered his little girl in his arms, whispering gently, “Don’t be afraid. Daddy’s here.” The sobbing subsided and Alexandra snuggled into her father’s arms.
Jesus’ disciples found themselves in a boat on a dark, windy night. When they saw Jesus walking on the water toward them, the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost and were frightened. But when Jesus climbed into the boat, the winds died down and His presence overcame their fear.
But when they saw him walking on the lake, they though he was a ghost. They cried out because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Mark 6:50).
Many times in life people find themselves in places or situations where they feel helpless and afraid. Just like Alexandra’s father came rushing to comfort her, so God comes to His children with His reassuring presence. He gently reminds Christians that He is always with them, and in His everlasting arms they find peace.
Thought for Today: God’s presence banishes fear.
Quicklook: Mark 6:47–52
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