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Discerning Truth

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. 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. Gal. 1:8-9 (NKJV)

The letter to the Galatians from the Apostle Paul is perhaps one of the most straightforward warnings about those who promote false gospels.  Paul’s love for Christ would not permit him to allow the lies of Satan to become professed doctrine within the church, and so he lovingly, but sternly confronts the Church in Galatia them with the truth—saying, “…there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Gal. 1:7).

There were those within the church who were promoting heresy—such as, teaching circumcision was a prerequisite for gentile believers if they were truly going to be saved.  There were other fallacies making their way throughout the early church as well, so throughout the six chapters of Galatians we can see Paul outlining biblical truths that will expose false gospels. 

Let’s take a look at some of these truths contained within Paul’s letter, as well as the Scripture reference that reveals them. 

Marks of a false gospel as outlined in the Book of Galatians

·      A false gospel treats Jesus’ death as meaningless (Gal. 2:21)

·      A false gospel says people must obey the law in order to be saved (Gal. 3:12)

·      A false gospel will try to find favor with God by observing various rituals (Gal. 4:10)

·      A false gospel will rely on their obeying the laws to erase their sin (Gal. 5:4).

Marks of the true Gospel as outlined in the Book of Galatians

·      The true gospel teaches its source is God (Gal. 1:11-12).

·      The true gospel teaches that life is obtained through death—we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (God the Son) who loved us and died for us, so we might die to sin and begin to live for Him (Gal. 2:20).

·      The true gospel teaches every true believer has the Holy Spirit through faith (Gal. 3:14).

·      The true gospel teaches we cannot be saved by good works or by keeping the law—it is only through faith in Jesus Christ, and by God’s grace which is available to all (Gal. 3:21-22).

·      The true gospel teaches believers are one in Christ—there is no basis for discrimination (Gal. 3:26-28).

·      The true gospel teaches we are free form the grip of sin, as the Holy Spirit’s power fills and guides us (Gal. 5:24-25).

God is not willing that anyone perish, but that all would be saved (2 Pet. 3:9).  Jesus Christ died so we might have direct access with God (Rom. 5:2; Eph. 2:18).  He rose from the grave to show us that His claims were true (1 Cor. 15:3-6).  He came so we might have a relationship—not a religion.  His death was for our sin, so we might place our faith in Him to be our Savior, and be forgiven.  Our salvation is by grace through faith and not of works, lest we boast (Eph. 2:8-9). We do not have to add anything to what Jesus did upon the cross—we can boast in what He has done as being totally sufficient (Gal. 6:13-14). 

I want to encourage you today.  Let’s be sure to discern the truth as taught in our Bibles.  

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: According to 2 Timothy 2:15, what are we told to do?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you rightly dividing the word of truth?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Let’s pray for God’s wisdom and discernment as we read His word daily.

LET’S PRAY: Father, thank You for giving us Your wisdom liberally.  Help us to discern the enemy's lies and to hold fast to Your truth.  Thank You for Your love for each of us.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000