Summary: The nature of the true gospel of Jesus Christ
Christ Alone: The Only Gospel
In the Fall of 1996, an interesting recipe book was published. The title is In Memory’s Kitchen. What is interesting about this book is that many of the recipes are incorrect. It is very probable that if you follow one of the recipes in this book that you will find the food unpalatable. The incorrect recipes are not a mistake by the publisher. They purposely published the incorrect recipes. You might ask yourselves why would anyone want to publish a recipe book with wrong recipes and why would anyone purchase such a book? The incorrect recipes are really what the book is all about.
The book is a compellation of recipes compiled by Jewish women who were put in the concentration camp by the Nazis. The camp was Terezin located in Czechoslovakia. Camp Terezin was a camp used to deceive the world. This camp had more freedoms than the other death camps. In spite of the freedoms, many still died, mostly of starvation.
One of the ways that the Jewish women dealt with their starvation was by remembering the recipes they used to cook when they were free. They wrote the recipes down and preserved them. All the recipes were written from memory and that is why many are incorrect. One of the ladies who was in the camp called the recipe compilation, “platonic cooking.”
The incorrect ingredients of the recipes In Memory’s Kitchen are a part of the story behind the recipes. This is one instance where being wrong is a good thing.
When it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ, there is not room for being wrong. The ingredients that make up the gospel are essential, and any added ingredient or left out ingredients can have terrible consequences. The apostle Paul reveals this in Galatians 1:6-10.
Galatians is unlike the other letters that Paul wrote to churches in that it is void of an opening thanksgiving section. One of the characteristics of Paul’s letters is that he opened them with commendation before he went into correction. This is not the case with Galatians. Paul doesn’t waist any time getting to the problem because the problem was so serious. The problem was false teachers coming in and giving different ingredients for salvation, ingredients that were opposite of the grace of God.
What Paul is concerned about is the nature of the good news of Jesus Christ . We call it the gospel. In verses six through nine the Greek word “ euangellion,” which we translate gospel is used no less than four times. The ingredients to the gospel are serious business. What is at stake is not unpalatable food, but the glory of Christ and a Christless eternity for souls . That is why Paul writes with such intensity and urgency. In verses six Paul addresses first the desertion of the gospel on the part of the Galatians.
I. The Desertion of the Gospel: It’s Criminal
Paul says in verse six, “I am amazed…” Paul begins by expressing his dismay of the conduct of the Galatians.
a. The Surprise of the Apostle
The Greek word is “ Thaumadzo.” Paul surprise is most likely united with criticism over the conduct of the believers who are receiving this letter. Paul expects a better conduct and behavior from those who have accepted the good news of Jesus Christ. He expects better behavior from them. The reason that he is surprised is found in the Galatians demise.
b. The Demise of the Galatians
What is Paul amazed about? “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel.”
Paul knows first hand when the Galatian believers responded to the gospel because it was he and Barnabas who took the gospel to the Galatians on their first missionary journey recorded in Acts chapters thirteen and fourteen. It wasn’t soon after that responded to Jesus by faith that they were deserting the gospel for a different gospel. The tense of the verb “deserting” is a present tense, which means that Paul is catching them in the act. That is why Paul is so urgent and direct with his confrontation. He realizes that there is still time to keep them from going down the wrong path.
The Greek word for “deserting” means to “transpose to things, to put one in the place of the other.” It was often used of soldiers who would desert their post or revolt against their commanders. The word was also used to describe a politician switching political philosophies or parties. It has the meaning of transferring one’s allegiance to another.
Many have probably heard the name Norma McCorvey. She was the lady who played apart in Roe vs. Wade back in the early 70’s that legalized abortion. She was passionate about a woman’s right to an abortion until 1995. That is when she gave her life to Christ. She transferred her allegiance from the murder industry to the Lord Jesus Christ.