Summary: We need to understand the importance of the message of the Gospel.

The Truth of the Gospel

Galatians 1:6-9

Intro.: C.H. Spurgeon said, “Human nature’s way of salvation is, “Do, do, do.” But God’s way of salvation is, “Done, done, it is all done.” You have but to rely by faith on the atonement that Christ accomplished on the cross.” Since the message of the Gospel of Grace was given to men, some have tried to twist it into the thinking and logic of man. In the NT the major opponents of grace were the Gnostics. These people took the message of Christ and twisted it to fit a more “intelligent” crowd. They believed that God, being completely pure and holy, could not have become man because flesh is inherently sinful. This would mean for them, that if Jesus was God, He was not really human, but only in appearance; and that His death on the cross was also only appeared to be real. Ultimately, their belief that the spirit was pure and the flesh evil caused them to believe that all would go to heaven and that the grace of God was not needed. Others, including those false teachers who were influencing the church in Galatia, believed that you must follow the Law in order to be saved. Paul saw that the message of the Gospel was being threatened, and that the heresies being taught must be stopped.

Prop.: We need to understand the importance of the message of the Gospel.

I. Desertion

a. Amazed at how quickly they turned

i. From salvation

ii. By hearing false gospel from false teachers

iii. What was this “gospel” they were taught?

1. Works

2. The Law

3. Grace + x = Salvation

b. Turned from Gospel

i. Grace

ii. Freedom from Law

1. Turning from grace (freedom) to bondage.

2. Freedom from man to comparing themselves to others.

c. Turned from God

i. Who loved them

ii. Sacrifice of Christ for their freedom

iii. Abandoning the eternal, immortal, all powerful God for the weak men who try to control us for their own benefit.

Turning from Grace to a…

II. Distortion

a. Disturbing

i. “What if what I learned is wrong?”

ii. Fall away because of fear.

1. Of man (rejection)

2. Of hell (understandable, not a tourist destination)

iii. They didn’t know what the Scriptures said. They didn’t know the truth.

iv. Be like the Bereans (Acts 17:10,11)

b. Distorting

i. Take parts of the true Gospel and twist it to fit their doctrine.

ii. In the process destroying the true Gospel in the hearts of the people by substituting works for grace.

c. Turning from the freedom of the Gospel of Christ into a trap.

i. Gal. 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

ii. We, through Christ, are dead to the Law. {Rom. 7:6}

d. From Freedom to Burdens.

e. From Freedom to work. When have you done enough?

f. The Test Illustration: Imagine that after you die you appear in a classroom with a test sitting on the desk in front of you. You are told that in order to enter into heaven you must earn enough points. You begin the test which consists of the one question, "Why do you deserve to enter Heaven?" You begin to write down everything that you have done that was good. Every little old lady you helped across the street, the time you risked your life to save someone. Finally you finish the test and hand it to God for His grading. Curiously, you ask, "So how many points do I need?"

God replies with, "1000."

"Ok, so how did I do?"

"Well, you helped some little old ladies across the street, that will earn you... half a point."

"What? I was hoping for a bit more."

God replies, "Half of a point."

"Ok, well what about when I almost died helping people?"

God looks over the test and answers, "1 point."

"Come on God, I was really hoping for more."

"I’m sorry, but that’s all I can give you for that."

"So, what is my final score?"

"10 points."

"I did all of that and only got ten points? How does anyone get to heaven?"

God replies with, "They don’t take the test. They let Jesus take it for them."

III. Destination (of those who distort the Gospel)

a. Paul’s passion on the subject.

i. Paul used to be on the other side of this argument before his conversion.

ii. He took pride in:

1. Being Hebrew

a. Israelite

b. Descendant of Abraham

c. Tribe of Benjamin

2. Being a Pharisee

a. He persecuted the Church because that’s what he thought God wanted him to do.

b. He was blameless as far as the Law was concerned.

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