As I read Galatians I saw how Paul was “astonished” and livid at the Galatians attempt to PERVERT and misuse the Gospel. Christ + anything else is a perversion of the Gospel. Anything we add the to the Gospel to make someone else acceptable before God is exactly why Paul did not mix words to start getting to his point in Gal 1:1-9. He offered to the Galatians the proper application of the Gospel!!! Keep in mind he was doing this to already saved people! Normally a person when asked what does being a Christian mean to you would answer “I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ”. Paul in Gal 1:1-9 does not say this to already saved people at the Church of Galatia…. what Paul says is “Christ rescues us”.
This application of the Gospel in how we live our lives Paul goes into great details with in the coming chapters of Galatians. In the case of Galatians the proper application of the Gospel is the method Paul offers to remedy how the Jews (and Peter) are dealing with the gentiles in their racial and social pride. Galatians is a good book to show how the Gospel “works” in the lives of men as we apply it properly and “act in line with the truth of the Gospel” in how we live our lives. We will never be perfect at it but it gives us a compass and shows us “true north” to act as our guide in life.
Christ + the addition of any levetical law to make a person further acceptable to God is a perversion of the Gospel! The laws primary purpose is to point us to our DEEP need for a savior. All of the law was fulfilled by what Christ did for us! Christ + anythng else denies the all sufficiency of Christs sacrifice! The difference between the Gospel and normal religious thinking is the Gospel says your accepted therefore I want to obey…. most religious thinking (mans default mode of thinking) says if you obey you are accepted. The two ways of thinking have radically different motives! One is motivated out of Gods mercy for us on the cross and the other is motivated by self and self- comparison!
Quite a few years back I was not allowed to have an accountability lunch with a friend when he was having some difficulties in his life. If I could not offer some guidance I could, at least, grieve along side him over his sin and be there for that. However, as in the case where people, willingly or unwillingly, have been vulnerable about our own sins in their lives, our sins can be used against us to make us acceptable to other people. Since his wife knew about some of the stuff I struggled with I was no longer acceptable to meet with him! Over 20 years of knowing her we always knew she was legalistic and self righteous in how she, like the Galatians, perverted the Gospel making it hard to get close to her.
This is an exact mirror image of what was going in Galatia. I have lived this! This is why I proclaim the Gospel so clearly and feel that I can preach the power of the Gospel, as a person that has engaged in worldly sins to self righteouss pharisees. The Gospel is the solution to understanding God’s righteouss plan for us and it is the solution to how we deal with other people and other Christians.
Keep in mind that Christ plus anything is a perversion of the Gospel. Unfortunately the plus does not come in the form of FULL BLOWN LEGALISM. Its subtle as it is in the case of the Galatians (ie the apostle Peter was blind to it). As Steve Martin (theoldadam) once said “the devil is in the details” in seeing any perversion of the Gospel and we must be on the look out for it all the time!
I recommend you read this post!