8 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. 9 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.
Paul takes no time getting to the point of his letter to the church in Galatia. He is confronting false teaching as well as confronting the churches ignorance in believing a false gospel. The apostle, called of God, ensures that his readers are aware he is not called of man nor given his position of authority by men. Therefore what he says carries great weight and authority. They had turned to a “gospel” that required works of circumcision and other religious duties. The confusion was being caused because leaders, even Peter-an apostle himself, was living to please the desires of men and acting one way when the ruling Jews were present, and another way when with the gentiles. So Paul, a leader, confronts it with this letter.
A few things…
-Don’t mess with the gospel. It is the greatest news in the whole world! When we trust in Jesus, our sins are forgiven and we are justified by faith. Works are a response but not mandatory to receive the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. When we confuse this, the gospel becomes as powerless as all other world religions that elevate works to mandatory in order to receive forgiveness and eternal security.
-False teachers and bad theology are going to be things a church leader deals with. If the church, that closely connected to the apostles and only years separated from the presence of Jesus in flesh, had to address false teaching and bad theology, so will we. The enemy has not stopped his plan to confuse and draw attention away from the grace of God.
-Address issues head on. Passivity is not helpful. When issues arise that confuse people and pull attention from where it should be, a leader must address it. Confrontation is not easy and never will be. However leaders are called to address it, even if it means discomfort. In this situation the issue was leading people away from the gospel. This is a no brainer. Theological confusion must be clarified at all cost, specifically when it involves the theology of salvation, grace, justification and the clarity of the gospel. As a leader I must know when to address issues and when to keep on keeping on.
Father thank you for this word. It gives me confidence to know church drama has always existed. You are bigger and can bring clarity. May we always fight to keep the gospel the priority. May we fight anything that draws us toward falsehood and powerless religion.