Summary: The Gospel Message Needs No Additions. Distorting the Gospel Message is a Serious Offense. Beloved in Christ, Only the Gospel "Saves".
"One of the most frequently used terms in the Christian faith is ...."The Gospel."
Amazingly ... few adults know what the term .... "The Gospel" means.
It could either refer to its literal translation, .... That is "Good News;"
Or Secondly .... that salvation is available only through the sacrificial death .... and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ.... and a person's acceptance of Christ as their Savior and their Lord.
Less than four out of ten adults (37%) knew one of these definitions; ... three out of ten adults ... did not offer even a guess.
Among those who stated they were Born Again Christians; ... Only 6 out of 10 correctly identified at least one meaning ... of this expression.
In the past fifty years there has been a proliferation of ... Quote ... "New gospels" in this country.
Some of these modern gospels .... like the "new age" belief system ... that are rooted in eastern mysticism.
Others are based More on pop-psychology ... than they are on any spiritual belief.
But whatever their origin ... they are misdirecting men and women .... from the only truth .... that can redeem us from our sin.
We will be looking at today's reading from Paul's letter to the Galatians.
This letter was written, ... not to one church, ... but to several churches in the Galatia area that Paul and Barnabas had visited ..... on their first missionary journey ... an area that is now part of southern Turkey.
The core of this letter addresses how the believers in Galatia have turned from the life changing truth ...... of the Gospel of Grace.
Paul states in his epistle, BIBLE "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel." End (Galatians 1:6)
The Greek word used here thaumazou (thou-mad'-zo) literally means .... "to be astounded or to be bewildered."
Paul's astonishment ... is not that false teachers exist, .... but that the churches in Galatia ... were listening to them ... and following them.
Paul had expected false teachers ... in fact, he had warned the Ephesians elders that false teachers would come. (Acts 20:28-30)
Paul is astounded ... because the believers in Galatia (Slow) were so quickly ... and so easily mislead.
In our text.... Paul gives us four abiding principles concerning .... "The Gospel".
(1 Finger) First, The Gospel Needs No Additions
Note that these false teachers ... are not publicly denying the gospel message Paul preached.
They did not deny it outright ... but wanted the Galatians to alter "the gospel" .... by adding to it.
Adding requirements, .... new ceremonies ... new standards.
It is as if they are saying, "We believe in the grace of Jesus Christ ... but ... something more is required ... to what you already believe!"
What is at least implied ... is that the faith that these Galatian believers have ... is not sufficient, ...some-thing more is required. (Pause)
Paul needed to respond .... And respond immediately. (Pause)
There is a true story about a man that was working in his garage.
He was the kind of person ... who did not like to be interrupted while engaged in a project.
Knowing this, his wife walked into the garage and stood quietly at his side for several minutes, ... waiting for the proper time to speak.
At last, her husband looked up, ... the signal that she was free to say what was on her mind.
Very calmly, ... without a trace of panic, .... she said, "The house is on fire." (Pause)
There definitely is a time to forsake the customary, ... polite, social graces ... and bluntly state the problem.
A burning house is clearly a time ... for immediate communication.
Likewise, ... the desertion of the churches of Galatia from the teaching of Paul .... from the gospel of God's grace was a time ... for a sounding ... of the alarm.
Paul had little time to waste in polite introductions, ... for the problem facing these churches, ... if left unchecked, .... would have ... devastating results.
Vigorously, and emotionally, ... Paul defends himself and the message that Jesus gave him to proclaim.
Paul's theme concerns the essence of the gospel .... and the importance to neither add to or subtract from it.
These challengers of the Gospel of Grace ... have done more than ...mess with Paul's ego.
No, ...... it was far more than that. The house was on fire.
They had messed with the gospel, ... They had messed with the Message ... and it was time act ... and to act quickly.