Summary: Where tradition strays from Scripture’s teaching then tradition must give way and change.
“ Firm Foundation” Galatians 1:6-9
Before we read to day’s text let me lay a little groundwork for this message,
Most of us have heard of Martin Luther, Born in 1483 in Eisleben Germany,
He became fully immersed in the traditional Catholic faith. His great intellectual bent enabled him to master Greek and Hebrew and to commit to memory most of the New Testament.
Ordained as a priest in 1507, he began his career as a university professor at Wittenberg and Erfurt, and he acquired his doctorate in 1512.
Luther became distressed at the selling of indulgences by the pope, so in 1517 he nailed his “Ninety-five Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg church.
The conflicts that resulted eventually led Luther to see the Bible, not the pope, as the sole authority over man.
Luther was challenging the theology of the religious leader’s of his day, he had read from the WORD of God & now believed that people are saved by faith, not by human effort.
From the perspective of the Catholic Church leadership of Martin Luther’s day, Luther was undermining their authority and As a result, Luther was “churched” by the Pope.
He had become a true Christian, and from there his relationship with the Catholic Church became so strained that he was excommunicated.
Luther believed there were more important matters than Church tradition, and that was Holy Scripture.
Where tradition strays from Scripture’s teaching then tradition must give way and change.
Martin Luther was not the first to take his stand in such matters as these. Over 1400 years before Luther came on the scene there was the Apostle Paul who took his stand.
Gal.1: 6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Paul was amazed that those who had heard the Gospel were now straying from the truth and believing in dame able doctrine.
He was amazed because he was the one who had planted the church there in Galacia, he had sat and taught them the Scriptures, and they had responded in faith to the good news of what God had done through Jesus the Messiah.
How could they now be deserting the God who had called them from darkness to the light of His glory?
How could they allow themselves to be fooled by men who sow seeds of self-salvation and shake the foundations of God’s work?
Lets notice, it wasn’t folks outside the church who had led them astray, but teachers within the church who denied the message of salvation by grace through faith.
The most destructive dangers to the church have never been atheism, or pagan religions, or cults that openly deny Scripture, but it’s the so called Christian movements that accept so much biblical truth that their unscriptural doctrines seem relatively insignificant and harmless.
Paul said in Gal.5: 7Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
A single false idea that in any way undercuts God’s grace poisons the whole system of belief.
Can a single false idea do such harm? Just one? It certainly can! The Apostle Paul is dogmatic when it comes to the fact that there is only one way to salvation and it is through the grace of Almighty God exhibited on Calvary’s cross.
The false teachers of Galatia had come in after Paul had left and began to try and discredit Paul and his teaching. By undermining Paul’s authority they could then attack his theology.
What were the false teachers teaching the Galatians in place of the truth, the good news of salvation by grace?
Gal. 3: 1O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Back in our text gal.1: 6-76I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.