Journal Gal 1 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, BUT there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
BUT even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Gal 1:6-9
Observation: It looks like Paul is emphatic about the doctrine of the Gospel, right?
Analysis: RC Sproul wrote a book a while back titled, “Getting the Gospel right.” I am looking at it on a shelf right above my eyes. He could have been referencing that book right from this section of scripture.
I read this and perceive how emphatic Paul is to the Galatian church about not moving from the Gospel they heard from the beginning from him.
But isn’t that just like me? I recognize it in me: I learn, and then I think I know better; something new, something different, and I start twisting the Gospel. I might not twist it hard, but even a little bit is out of shape and changes the Gospel.
What is my motivation? I think it is a desire to find “something new”, “something not seen but sitting right in front of me”; to contribute a new and fresh idea to Christianity. That was probably the motivation of heretics as well: full of good intent but ultimately looking for something they could call their own, “a new and different gospel.”
Thinking about it, this tendency is erupting less than 60 years after the Crucifixion and the Ascension. “I am tired of preaching the same old thing—let’s find something new to be exciting, thrilling, stimulating, i.e., “to tickle my ears.” Prosperity adherents, beware.
Paul even warns, “If I, me or any of my company should come to you with something different, BEWARE. I shouldn’t be listened to; I should be accursed.” Goodness, gracious!
And? What I have found over the last 20 years (because I was just like what I wrote above) is that the historical Gospel, the Gospel message that survives generation after generation is BEAUTIFUL and FULL of WONDER—all by itself.
I don’t need something new. I can study and read the godly men that have gone before, get the spaces filled out and see that the Gospel is a Jewel of great price and each facet declares the Glory of God.
This is the WONDER: The Gospel of Christ is foremost about Christ, the Trinitarian God. The Gospel is not about me; it is not even directly for me. If I were not a believer, if 100% of mankind did not have faith in the Atonement of Christ for their sin, all of Creation would REJOICE in the Lamb forever and ever.
I need to keep my head on straight about that, so I get the Gospel right.
Prayer: One more time my heart erupts in praise, O God, for the Lamb that was slain to be the Atonement for the world. I remember, and I tremble in awe of You. Stir up more passion, more steadfastness, more dedication in me, Lord. I want to faithfully endure to the End. AMEN.