Summary: Discovering freedom through God's grace.
An oxymoron is a set of words that cancel each other out and the English language is full of them. Here are ten of my favorites: (1) Live recording; (2) Original Copy; (3) Freezer burn; (4) Jumbo Shrimp; (5) Minor miracle; those are fairly evident, but there are others that you have to think about: (6) Congressional Action; (7) Microsoft Works; (8) Federal Budget; (9) Airline food; and my all-time favorite oxymoron: (10) Humble Texan.
Bad News Gospel is an oxymoron. We use the word “gospel’ without knowing what it really means. It literally means “good news.” Paul wrote this letter to the churches in Galatia because he was appalled that some false teachers had been spreading another gospel, a bad news gospel. They were teaching that the grace of God wasn’t enough to save a person. They insisted in order for a person to be saved they had to believe AND do some religious acts. That’s called legalism. So I could invent another oxymoron by using the term “legalistic grace.”
This message is to help you avoid the bad news gospel, and to embrace the gospel of grace.
Galatians 1:3-9. “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”
Notice how many times Paul uses the word “gospel.” He is so sure of his last statement, he repeats it! Those are some of the strongest words Paul ever wrote. He said if even an angel appeared with another gospel, then let him be eternally condemned; the word he used was anathema. It literally means, “let him go to hell.”
So let’s just imagine for a moment as we are gathered on a Sunday morning, suddenly—boom! A mighty angel appears right here on this platform. I’m not talking about someone disguised as an angel; I’m talking about a sure-enough-dyed-in-the-feathers angel, like Gabriel, for instance. The first thing we’d all do is tremble with fear. Throughout the Bible the first thing an angel usually said was, “Don’t fear.” So Gabriel says, “People of Green Acres, don’t be afraid. I’ve come from heaven with a message from God. You are the first to learn this: There is a new revelation from God; a new message; a new gospel, and I’m bringing it to you today!” How would we react? I would say, “Hold it right there, Gabriel, but based upon Galatians 1:9, you can take your new gospel and go straight to Hades. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.”