Summary: "To tamper with the gospel is to trouble the church... Indeed the church's greatest troublemakers (now as then) are not those outside who oppose, ridicule and persecute it, but those inside who try to change the gospel... Conversely, the only way to....

Why Would A Free Man Go back into Bondage? Pt.4 Galatians 1:1-10NASB

In the 1980s Hollywood created what became a authentic,

film genre in which a bulked-up, heavily armed one-man fighting machine broke into prison camp's and rescued hostages, POWs, or kidnapped victims. Names like Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris immediately come to mind. The plots and characters usually had as much depth as a Florida winner snowfall, but when it came to shoot’m up action, those movies had no rivals. An obvious lesson jumped out at any one of those flicks: If you want to set the captives free, you need to go in with guns blazing.

This is the approach Paul took with his letter to the Galatians. Commentators have called Galatians the Magna Carta of Christian Liberty.

Why would a slave, once freed, go back to living in bondage? Let’s explore that together.

NASB Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

What gospel did these folks receive from Paul? Grace gospel!

"To tamper with the gospel is to trouble the church... Indeed the church's greatest troublemakers (now as then) are not those outside who oppose, ridicule and persecute it, but those inside who try to change the gospel... Conversely, the only way to be a good churchman is to be a good gospel-man. The best way to serve the church is to believe, act and to preach the gospel." (Source: Stott, John R.W. The Message of Galatians, "The Bible Speaks Today" Downers Grove, Ill; Inter-Varsity Press, 1968.

Galatians 1:1-2NLT This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead. 2 All the brothers and sisters here join me in sending this letter to the churches of Galatia.

The word apostle means, ‘one who is sent.’ By Paul addressing Himself as an apostle, it was a known fact that Paul was addressing his validity as a man that personally eye-witnessed Jesus, and that Jesus called him into a apostolic ministry.

Galatians 1:3NLT May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

He gave you Grace- God’s favor and blessing, forgiveness for our sins, the gift of not only eternal life, but a life of abundance and fulfillment on earth, is not poured out lightly, but won by the lavish Gift of Christ Himself.

Grace is not a cheap trinket God dispenses with little thought of the cost. Grace was costly, Jesus Christ gave his life and spilled his blood on a Roman cross, that we who were undeserving might have grace.

He gave you Peace- not in a 1970’s peace sense, but peace in the Hebrew sense of all being made right, balance being restored, relationship with God being reestablished because the ugly blot of our sin has been washed by His priceless blood.

Everywhere Jesus goes, He speaks Shalom!

17 times in the NT, mainly by Paul, was ask that God through His Son Jesus Christ, give you grace and peace.

Hear this word, “When someone walks in grace and peace, it becomes the greatest mechanism that brings them through any fiery storm of trouble and trail!” P.H.

Galatians 1:4NLT Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.

Remember this, “If you love and trust Jesus, Evil can’t leave its imprint on you because Jesus rescued you~ He graced you!”

Galatians 1:5NLT All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.

Glory completes the circle. God bestows grace upon us and our response is glory to Him, because of what He’s done, and what He continues to do in us through His grace, our lives bring glory to God.

“We are trophies of the Grace of God!” P.H.

John Wesley was a popular evangelist in early America and often rode from one church to another to preach. On one such journey, stopped by a highwayman who shouted, "Halt, your money or your life." Wesley got down from his horse, emptied his pockets to reveal only a handful of coins. He even invited the robber to search his saddlebags - which only carried his books. In disgust, the thief was turning away when John Wesley cried "Stop, I have something more to give you."

Puzzled, the robber turned back. Wesley then leaned towards him and said "My friend, you may live to regret this sort of life in which you are engaged. If you ever do, I beseech you to remember this: “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s son, cleanses us from all sin.’"

The robber hurried silently away, but Wesley got back on his horse and rode on his way praying in his heart that the word might be fixed in the robber’s conscience.

Years later, at the close of a Sunday evening service, a stranger stepped forward and earnestly begged to speak with John Wesley. Wesley recognized him as the robber who had stolen from him so long before, but now he was a well-to-do-tradesman and better still, a child of God. Raising Wesley’s hand to his lips he affectionately kissed it and sad in deep emotion, "To you, dear sir, I owe it all."

Wesley replied softly, "Nay, nay, my friend, not to me, but to the precious blood of Christ which cleanses us from all sin."

Galatians 1:6-7NLT I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News 7 but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.

Again, “Why would a slave, once freed, go back to living in bondage?”

A strong appeal from the lust of the flesh~ the devil whispers, “I have great benefits.”

Lack of growth in grace and peace; therefore, serving Christ becomes dull and heartless.

A person feeds the flesh more than the spirit.

This young church (Body of believers) were being told that it takes Jesus plus other things to make you whole.

Paul writes in verse 6, I am shocked, or I am amazed! In other words, Paul was saying, “I can’t believe you would ever turn away from this mighty grace that came through God’s only Son’s blood.”

Remember this, “Grace is the way to life and the way of life!”

Galatians 1:8-9NLT Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. 9 I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.

Warren Wersibe: “Galatians is a dangerous book. It exposes the most popular substitute for spiritual living that we have in our churches today – legalism…”

Again in verse 9b…let that person be cursed.

The more direct translation is: “If anyone comes with another gospel let him be damned!’ ‘Even if I or an angel brings another message we’ll be damned!"

Galatians 1:10NLT Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Men pleasers: The implication is that this is exactly what the false teachers are doing, they are operating not out of a sincere desire to please God, nor even to help people, but strictly out of pride.

“ Want to know a way I’ve found to recognize false teaching?” If every time you hear someone speak, they’re on the same topic and that topic isn’t salvation by faith in the cross of Christ, than it’s probably some false teaching they’ve gotten wrapped up in. They may think of it as a special revelation they have that they need to share, but in reality what’s happening is their pride is driving them to show others how insightful they are, and it’s heresy. Even if it didn’t start as heresy it begins to crowd out the message of the gospel.

Walking in the flesh or, according to Romans 6, following the law of sin and death brings these results found in 2 Peter 2:1-3,13-14NLT But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3 In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.

13 Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals. 14 They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse.

In other words, They're dammed!

Today, I have a special offer from God Himself, you can trade-in all counterfeit for the authenticity of God!