We live in a culture that is full of mixed messages. All one needs to do is turn on the television and watch the commercials being played. Whether for anti-aging or weight loss, they declare what your problem is and the fact they have the solution to make your life all the better. Sadly, within the church there seems to be mixed messages. So was the case with the church in Galatia. How one could be saved, redeemed, and reconciled to God was at the forefront of this confusion. Members of this church were told circumcision was needed for salvation. That is, there was some works required for salvation. It was “Jesus+something else”. In addition to this, the Galatians were being told Paul was not a man who had been approved by God for the ministry He had been given. Thus, Paul begins by countering this lie with the truth. He is an apostle through and because of Jesus Christ in the gospel, not by men (1:1-2). Furthermore, Paul addresses and scorns the Galatians for their lack of discernment. These people had heard the gospel and had received the gospel. Now, they were open to distorting the gospel. The consequence of turning to a different and distorted gospel was to be accursed (1:8-9). To preach a different gospel would be to preach a false gospel and bring God’s judgment upon oneself. That is why Paul is so direct here! The gospel is not something to be played around with. The gospel doesn’t tell us we can, in any way, save ourselves. The gospel shows us our inability to. Our problem is sin. We need a Savior. While man cannot save himself by doing good works, the God-Man has come to live sinless life and die for the forgiveness of sins. It is by grace alone found in Jesus Christ (1:6) that humanity can be reconciled to God. The equation of salvation is not “Jesus+something else”; it is simply Jesus alone! Rest in the gospel of grace for there is no other. Your problem is sin. The solution is Jesus Christ, your Savior!
- How have you functionally lived the Christian life with a “Jesus+something else” mindset? How can you be intentional in resting in God’s grace throughout this week and year?