“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. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-10 ESV)
The apostle Paul was known for always greeting the churches he was writing a letter to–even the church at Corinth that was in gross sin. However, he pulls no punches at the beginning of Galatians. It’s hard-hitting, piercing right to the heart. When the gospel is at stake, there’s really no time for pleasantries.
In Galatians 1:6-10 we see Paul penning what might be his strongest paragraph in all his letters. He holds nothing back. And he gets right to the point–if anybody preaches a different gospel, they are accursed. Anathema. Dammed to hell.
This, friends, is why we take the gospel so seriously. If you get the gospel wrong, you will wind up on the wrong side of eternity. There are two main reasons why we take the gospel so seriously, and I want to briefly discuss them in this post.
The Gospel is a Person
The gospel is not some ethereal concept. It can be summed up as the person and work of Jesus Christ. For instance, Jesus is truly God and truly man. If you get either part wrong, you have the wrong gospel–one that condemns. Another example: Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). If you don’t affirm that, your gospel doesn’t save.
What Jesus did on earth makes up the message of the good news. His sinless life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection are staples of the gospel. Again–if you lose any of that, you have a different gospel (which according to Paul is no gospel at all).
This isn’t some fairytale. We stake our livelihoods on this gospel. I would hope, in the last hour, that we’d all be willing to die for it just like so many others have done. It’s the most important thing in our lives. Everything hinges on its truth.
The other important reason why we take the gospel so seriously is because we want to please God rather than man (v. 10). We may struggle on occasion with pleasing man and caving to the culture. However, our ultimate allegiance is to God. If we lose the gospel–if we preach a gospel contrary to what we’ve heard–we are not pleasing God.
Pleasing man is such a frivolous thing, anyway, because man is so . . . fickle. God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We don’t have to worry about if we’re pleasing him one day and not the next because His mood changed. God doesn’t have “moods” in the sense humans do (known as the impassibility of God).
When we please man, we are therefore showing God we’d rather be in tune with the culture instead of being in tune with the Scriptures. That is not a good place to be. Christians seek to please God in all we do–no matter the cost!
The Gospel is Everything
Once again, we stake our lives on the gospel. Nothing matters more than the gospel, the person and work of Jesus Christ. This is why we take such issue–as the Bible does–with false teachers/teaching. We don’t want faithful Christians to be led astray by manipulative teachers or unbiblical doctrines.
This is why Christians take the gospel so seriously. It’s everything.
Keep taking it seriously, believer. It’s the most important thing in your life. It’s why you are who you are. Everything in your life revolves around the gospel.