Let Him Be Accursed (Galatians 1)
Turn to Galatians chapter 1. The Christians, that Paul wrote to, at the churches at Galatia, had been saved by the true gospel; but then, after getting saved, were decieved into following a false, works-based gospel. And so Paul wrote this epistle to them to get them back on track, and to condemn, in the harshest of terms, the false gospel preachers that had let them astray. So let’s read Galatians, chapter 1…
Read Galatians 1.
“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.)” (Galatians 1:1)
Now the first word of Galatians 1:1, the first word of this epistle is, “Paul.” In fact, all of Paul’s epistles start with the word, “Paul”; unless you attribute the book of Hebrews to Paul, because the first word in that book is “God.” And it actually is God who wrote all of Paul’s epistles, through Paul; 2 Peter 3:16 directly says that Paul’s epistles are scripture, and 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. So it is God who wrote the book of Galatians through Paul.
Also, in Galatians 1:1, Paul lets us know that his apostlship, (which was the basis of his authority to write scripture, and to correct doctrine), Paul let’s us know that his apostleship came directly from God as well; Galatians 1:1 reads: “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)”; it’s comforting to know that God wrote this epistle, through Paul. And it’s comforting to know that even Paul’s authority to write scripture came from God. It’s comforting because it shows us that the gospel that we have put our faith in is of divine origen, it wasn’t something man made up. And so our faith is not based on the words of men, it’s based on the word of God. It’s God who raised Christ from the dead, and it was God’s idea, not man’s idea, to provide us the way of salvation by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of his Son.
Look at Galatians 1:11-12, here Paul certifies that the gospel is not a man-made thing; Paul says, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” So when unbelievers attack your faith, and say, Oh you believe in a book written by men. Don’t let their lies get to you. This book was written by God! And the ideas in it, originate from God. The gospel that Paul wrote about, he received by revelation of Jesus Christ. And so the gospel that you have put your faith in is not a man-made gospel.
“And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:” (Galatians 1:2)
Now look at Galatians 1, verse 2; here Paul continues his greeting, and says, “And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia.” Paul mentioned that he was ministering with other brethren; “and all the brethren which are with me,” Paul said. Now I used to think of Paul as a lone, Christian superhero-type. But the truth is that Paul pretty much always ministered with other brethren, other Christians helping him. Why? Because, as Christians, we function best when working together as a team; or, to follow the biblical analogy, we work best when we see ourselves as different members, or as different parts of the same body; and just as different parts of a body are dependent on one another, in order for the body to function properly, as a whole; so are each of us Chrisitans depentant on one another. We, here, in this room, for instance, are a local body of Christ; and, in order for us to best preach and teach, we need each other; we need to work together, to best fulfill the Great Commission. For instance, if (Afshin) you’re a head, and (Daryl) you’re a hand, and (Mary) you’re a heart, and I’m a foot, we obviously need each other to work properly as one body; “… the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you” (1 Corinthians 12:21). If we told Daryl, we don’t need you! That’d be like a body chopping off it’s own hand. We need Daryl. We need him to function properly. Our main purpose, as a local body of believers, is to preach the gospel to the lost, and to edify and teach other Christians; and we need each other to accomplish this mission. That’s why the Bible says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:25), and that’s why Paul didn’t minister alone, but Paul had other brethren helping him.
Also notice, in Galatians 1:2, that the epistle wasn’t written to just one church, but it was written “unto the churches of Galatia”; again verse 2 reads: “And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia.” The issue at hand, in this epistle, was that true Christians were being led astray by a false gospel. And notice here that this wasn’t a problem at just one church at Galatia, but Paul wrote this letter to the churches at Galatia; so this false gospel Paul was combatting had spread to all the churches at Galatia. And, you see, that’s the danger of false gospels, they spread, and they spread quickly; “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9).
The #1 false gospel in Christendom today is the repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved false gospel. This is a subtly works-based false gospel, as opposed to the true, by grace through faith gospel. And this false, repent-of-your-sins gospel is being preached everywhere today; mainstream, quote, unquote Christians preach it, like Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham. So-Called evangelists preach it, like Ray Comfort; and this false gospel has even spread to Baptist churches; even Independant Baptists are preaching this false, repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved gospel, like a pastor named Jason Cooley, out of Minnesota. False gospels spread, and they spread quickly. That’s why we have to judge the gospels that people preach, and why we have to quickly identify false gospels, and then boldly and openly renounce them.
“… but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) and all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins …” (Galatians 1:1b-4a)
Now I want you to notice, in these opening verses, that there’s a clear presentation of the gospel given, the true gospel. Look again at verses 1-4, starting with the latter half of verse 1, which reads: “… but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) [skipping verse 2, and then, verse 3 says:] 3 grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins …” So at the end of verse 3, we have: “… and from our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins …”; that’s the first part of the gospel; Jesus died for our sins, he gave himself for our sins. And then, at the end of verse 1, we have: “… by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)” So we have, pretty much, a complete gospel presentation: Jesus gave himself for our sins, and God the Father raised him from the dead. And then, in verse 3, we have “grace to you and peace”; and that familiar greeting is a summation of the gospel, as well: Jesus did all the work, and we receive salvation from him by grace, as a gift; and that grace gives us peace with God.
Now in about half, or so, of the openings of Paul’s epistles have parts of the gospel mentioned. So it’s not that unusual, I mean, all of his epeistles have the phrase, ‘grace be to you and peace,’ but Galatians has bit more of the gospel, then all the rest. And that’s likely because Paul needed to remind them of what the true gospel is, because the Galatians had fallen for a false gospel.
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians `1:6-7).
Look at verses 6 and 7, which read: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” Paul marveled that they had been so soon removed from the true gospel; “removed” means that they had the true gospel, but they were removed from it. Someone had preached the true gospel to them, probably Paul and company, and the Galatians had put their faith on Jesus and got saved. But then they were removed from the true gospel, someone had moved them away from it, and they started believing in a false gospel.
An interesting lesson here is that true Christians, genuine, once saved, always saved, born-again believers, can get deceived into following a false gospel. And these were indeed saved Christians that Paul was writing to at Galatia. In Galatians 3:2, Paul mentions that they had received the Holy Spirit; Paul asked them, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” So they had heard the gospel, and they had put their faith on Jesus, and they had received the Holy Spirit. Paul even called them “brethren,” here, in Galatians 1:11 (and again in 4:12), and so they really were saved Christians. But these saved Christians had been deceived into believing in a different gospel than what had saved them.
And so we need to remember that true believers can get deceived into following a false gospel. And we need to keep this in mind when we go soul-winning and encounter people who believe in a false gospel. Yes, some of these people were never saved, probably most of them, but some of them were saved, and then later got deceived into following a false gospel. I, unfortunately, can speak from first-hand experience about this. I got saved by the true, by grace through faith gospel. And I’ve been saved for over 20 years now. But there was a time when I got deceived, for about a year, into believing in a false gospel. I got into the pro-life movement, and so many pro-lifers are preaching this false, repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved gospel, that I started believing in it too, and I started preaching it. But then I heard a sermon, by Pastor Steven Anderson, refuting the repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved heresy. And I received that correction, and I got back to believing in, and back to sharing the true gospel.
The point is that true Christians can be deceived into believing in a false gospel; Christians like those at Galatia that Paul was writing to, and Christians like myself, today. And, also, true Christians can be led back to the truth. Paul was confident that he could lead the Christians at Galatia back to the true gospel, and that’s why he wrote this epistle. Just like Pastor Anderson was confident that he could lead Christians like me back to the truth, and so he preached sermons like “Repent of Your Sins Heresy,” which helped me greatly.
Now going back to Galatians 1:6, notice that Paul marvelled that they had left the true gospel. Again, Galatians 1:6 reads, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” And I understand that sense of marvel, that Paul was talking about; I marvel at myself! I marvel that I had been removed from the true gospel. And, when we go soul-winning, or when we talk to people on facebook, or wherever, we likewise marvel that so many people believe in a false gospel. It really is amazing [in a bad way] how close, and yet how far so many are from the truth. In our current town, there’s a lot of 7-Day Adventists. And we marvel – especially when we first started soul-winning here – we marvel at how close, and yet how far the Adventists are from the true gospel. They’ll agree with almost every part of our gospel presentation, until we get to the once saved, always saved verses; and that’s when they’ll invariably say that a person can lose their salvation; showing that Adventists are trusting in their works to save them, and not on Christ. But it really is a marvel at how Christian they seem, at first.
And, in kind of a similar way, Paul marvelled that the Christians at Galatia had left the true gospel. But Paul, in particular, marvelled that the Chrisitans had been led astray so quickly. Again, Galatians 1:6 begins, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed …” Apparently, Paul had been to Galatia shortly before he wrote this epistle; and, when Paul was there, the Christians were still trusting in the true gospel that saved them. But shortly after Paul left, the Christians at Galatia stopped believing in the true gospel, and started believing in a false gospel. Paul said to them, in Galatians 5, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (Galatians 5:7-9) Christians can be quickly led astray from the true gospel. Just as a little leaven can, relatively quickly, make it through a whole lump of dough, so can a false gospel quickly deceive true believers. Remember, Paul was writing to multiple churches, and so this false gospel had spread to multiple churches at Galatia. And because Christians can be so quickly deceived by a false gospel, it’s important to quickly identify and mark preachers of false gospels, so as to nip the trouble that they can cause in the bud, and hopefully stop them before they pervert the faith of true Christians.
And what is the true gospel? Well, again, it’s faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. But, in Galatians 1:6, it’s interesting to note that Paul calls the true gospel, “the grace of Christ”; Again, Galatians 1:6 reads, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” Grace means gift; the true gospel is that salvation is a gift from Jesus to anyone who believes on him; Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” And so the grace of Christ is a biblical, and apropos name for the gospel; because it reminds us that salvation is by grace, that it’s a gift that cannot be earned. And if anyone tells you that salvation does have to be earned, or worked for, then you can quickly identify that person as someone who is preaching another gospel.
But, as Galatians 1:7 says, it’s not actually another gospel that they’re preaching, because there is no such thing as another gospel; there isn’t another way to get saved. Those who preach that salvation is by works aren not actually preaching a gospel, you can’t call it a gospel; they’re preaching a troubling, perverted lie.
Now I want to take a little time to talk about the most prevelant false gospel of today, the repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved false gospel. Repenting from sins is a work, it’s a good work, but works cannot save us. And repenting from sins is following the law of God, and, again, it’s good to follow the law of God, but following the law cannot save us.
Turn to Jonah 3:10. The book of Jonah is in the middle of the minor prophets. The minor prophets are at the end of the Old Testament. Now remember the KJV’s built-in dictionary works by parallelling words or phrases, in order to define those words or phrases. And Jonah 3:10 begins, “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way …” So it says that God saw their works, and then it defines what those works were: that they turned from their evil way. So turning from one’s evil way is a work. The Bible defines turning from one’s evil way, which is another way of saying, repenting from sin, as a work. But we know that salvation is not of works (Ephesians 3:9); so if anyone tells you that you have to repent of your sins to be saved, they’re really telling you that you have to do works to be saved; they’re preaching a false, works-based gospel!
Consider also 1 John 3:4, which says that “… sin is the transgression of the law.” Now if sin is the transgression of the law, then what’s repenting of sin? Repenting of sin is following the law. You see how that works? Sin is breaking God’s law, so repenting from sin is following God’s law. Now following God’s law is a good work, and it’s definitely something that we should strive to do; but following the law cannot save from hell! Turn to Galatians 2. Galatians 2:16 says, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Neither doing works nor following the law can save you. Salvation is just by faith on Jesus, not by the works of the law. So, clearly, whichever way you cut it, those who preach that you have to repent of your sins to be saved, are preaching a false gospel. They’re saying that you have to do the works of the law to be saved, and that’s a lie!
Now let’s go back to Galatians 1. Look at Galatians 1:7. Actually, let’s read verses 6 and 7, but, this time, let’s focus in on verse 7: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” Paul used the words trouble, and pervert to describe that false gospel and the preachers of it; “… there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ,” he said. Note, again, that Paul judged these false preachers as causing trouble, and also Paul judged them as perverting the gospel of Christ. Unfortunately, an unbiblical, do-not-judge mentality has gripped modern-day Christendom, and so you don’t usually hear Christians calling out preachers of false gospels today; you don’t hear preachers of false gospels being called troublemakers anymore; you don’t hear Christians today saying that so-and-so is a false preacher who preverts the truth of the gospel of Christ. Why don’t we hear these warnings anymore? It’s because we’ve been deceived by this do-not-judge mentality, and we’ve lost that edge that Paul had; boldly calling out false preachers for what they are. And so we need to be more like Paul; we need to call out false gospel preachers, we need to mark them, and we need to tell everyone that they are trouble, and that they are perverting the true gospel.
“But 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. As 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” (Galatians 1:8-9).
But Paul took it even further; turn to Galatians 5:12; here, Paul said that he wouldn’t mind if these false preachers were dead! I’m serious: Paul said, “I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” That’s intense, right? A great Christian leader, like the Apostle Paul, saying he wouldn’t mind if someone were cut off from the living; he wouldn’t mind if they were dead! The first time the phrase “cut off” is used in the Bible is in Genesis 9:11, where God said, “… neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood,” so clearly the phrase “cut off,” when used by itself, means death, the first death. So Paul said that he basically wished, or wouldn’t mind, if these false teachers were cut off from the living.
But Paul took it even further than that; Paul actually said let them be accursed; as in, accursed to hell! Look at Galatians 1, verses 8 and 9; There Paul said, “But 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. As 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.” And if there’s any doubt that Paul was talking about cursing them to hell, compare Paul’s use of the word “accursed” in Romans 9:3, where he said: “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” And so when Paul used the word accursed, he was definitely talking about being accursed to hell, accursed from the salvation of Christ. And who does that now? I mean, who says let false teachers be accursed to hell? Did you even know that there’s an appropriate time for a Christian to say of another person, let him be accursed? Well there is. We should say let preachers of false gospels be accursed.
Why? Because they’re murderers, they’re murderers of people’s souls; which is infinitely worse than regular murderers. And the Bible also says that false teachers are reprobate, which means they’re filled with all unrighteousness, and they cannot be saved. Turn to 2 Peter 2. 2 Peter 2, starting at verse 1. This chapter talks about false teachers, and how they’re reprobate, unsavable… “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you [ok so Peter’s talking about false teachers here, that’s the context…], who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways [many will follow these false teachers, sounds just like the many who were deceived by the false gospel preachers at Galatia, doesn’t it? Continuing… ]; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not [“their damnation slumbereth not,” see? false teachers are damned to hell]” (2 Peter 2:1-3). False teachers, and false preachers are already damned to hell, it’s a foregone conclusion; so when we say, Let them be accursed, we’re just stating what’s already been decided by Jesus himself. False teachers are reprobate; they cannot be saved. 2 Peter 2:6 compares false teachers to the reprobate sodomites that God destroyed at Sodom and Gomorrha. And we know from Romans 1, that reprobates like that cannot be saved.
Now let’s talk about false teachers of today. Let’s name some names again, let’s mark them, as the Bible says to do. Because they deceive the hearts of the simple, and we need to protect them from the false teachers. In Romans 16, Paul said, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them [ok, so we’re to mark those who teach contrary doctrine. Why? Well Paul continues…]. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18). We’re to mark false teachers because by good words and fair speeches they deceive many, and so we’re to mark them to protect other people from them.
Ok, here’s a name: Billy Graham. Billy Graham is a sacred cow to a lot of people, but he preaches a repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved false gospel. On our website, NewCovenantBaptist.org, we have a clip of Billy Graham, from 1947, saying that you have to repent of your sins to be saved. And we also have a clip from Billy Graham from this year, 68 years later, where he says, quote: “When you come to Christ, you come by the way of repentance. Repent means to change, to change your way of living, and turn from your sins, and turn to Jesus Christ.” So from the beginning of his ministry, until now, Billy Graham has preached a false, repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved gospel.
And his son, Franklin Graham, is carrying on his legacy of deception, by preaching the same false gospel. Here’s a quote from Franklin Graham’s facebook page, from August 9, of this year; where he said, “If you haven’t turned from your sin and accepted God’s gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, I urge you to do it today.” And, again, go to our website, NewCovenantBaptist.org, under “Resources”, where we have a link to Franklin Graham’s Facebook page, and you can see this quote for yourself.
And well-known ‘evangelist’ Ray Comfort also preaches this same repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved false gospel. We’ve also got him on video saying, “… just asking God for forgiveness won’t help you, you’ve got to repent, turn from your sins… you’ve got to trust in him, and stop sinning.” That’s insane! That’s not the true gospel. You don’t have to stop sinning to be saved.
And this false repent-of-your-sins gospel is even preached by some Independant Baptist preachers of today; a little known IFB pastor out of Minnesota, Jason Cooley, preached a sermon, last month, entitled, Biblical Repentance, in which he said that saving repentance is not merely a change of mind, but, quote: “… a change of heart that leads to a radical change of action.” Really? Jason Cooley? You think there needs to be a “radical change of action” in order for someone to get saved? Tell you what, Cooley, you go trust in your radical change of action to save you, but I’m going to put my faith on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus to save me!
So what should we say about these false gospel preachers? Billy Graham, and Franklin Graham, and Ray Comfort, and Jason Cooley. What should we say about them? Well what did Paul say about the false gospel preachers of his day? Paul said, “… if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” And that’s what we should say about these false preachers today: let Billy Graham be accursed! Let the Lord Jesus accurse you to hell, Billy Graham! Your damnation slumbereth not! And take your damned son with you!… Ray Comfort, Let the Lord Jesus accurse you to hell! You’re a wolf, Comfort! a reprobate! Go to hell! and take Kirk Cameron with you!… And I would that Pastor Jason Cooley be cut off! So that he stops deceiving people with his false gospel! Let Jason Cooley be accursed! Let them all be accursed!
This is biblical. What I’m doing here, right now is biblical. God doesn’t want you to not judge them. God doesn’t want you to pray for them, God said, in Jeremiah 7, not to pray for reprobates, because God will not hear your prayers. The Bible says that reprobates are God-haters, and the Bible warns believers, in 2 Chronicles 19, not to love God-haters, and not to help God-haters, because, if you do, God’s wrath will be on you, Christian! When a believing king helped a reprobate nation, that saved king got this message from God, in 2 Chronicles 19:2: “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.” So don’t help these reprobate, God-hating false teachers! And don’t love them! or God’s wrath will be on you, Christian! You’ll be punished by God, in this life, if you try to love or help Ray Comfort or Jason Cooley. So don’t try to help them; just say, Let them be accursed. That is the biblical thing to do. Mark them, and say, let the Lord curse them. Why? So that other people won’t get deceived by them.
However, I do want to make sure to differentiate between accursed, reprobate false teachers, and the genuine believers that can be deceived by them. In Galatians 1:6, Paul addressed the deceived believers, and said, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” Again, those were genuine believers in the true gospel, that had been removed, moved away from the true gospel. But, of course, they’re still saved; once saved, always saved. And then, in verse 7, Paul starts referencing the other group of people, the false teachers, when Paul said: ” Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” Ok, you see the two groups of people? The genuine believers that had been removed from the true gospel, and the false teachers that had troubled them with a perverted version of the gospel. And it’s these false teachers, not the deceived believers, but the false teachers that Paul said are accursed.
So keep in mind that there are two groups of people, the deceived, and the deceivers. And so we shouldn’t just declare regular people, who believe in a false gospel, as being cursed to hell. Because it’s possible that they’re actual believers who have been deceived. And we can test them and ask if there was ever a point when they believed the true gospel, before they started listening to some devil, like Ray Comfort, who moved them away from the truth. And if they were originally saved by the true gospel, then they’re still saved; and they just need to be corrected.
So be wise in your judgments; don’t judge too quickly, but definitely judge. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing, and when you find them out, mark them, and warn others about them. But also be sensitive to the genuine believers that have been deceived, and when you find a genuine believer, that has been deceived, meticulously and prayerfully bring them back to the truth, sharing the word of God with them, reminding them of the true gospel, because the word never returns empty. Don’t give up on the deceived believers, Paul didn’t give up on the deceived believers at Galatia; Paul wrote this epistle to them, in order to bring them back to the true gospel. And Paul had confidence that they would return to the truth. Listen to what he said to them in Galatians 5, starting at verse 7. Notice that he again addresses both groups of people, the deceived, and the deceivers; and notice that Paul says he has confidence that the deceived Christians will be right-minded again; Paul believed that they would get back to the truth. Paul said, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be” (Galatians 5:7-10). So Paul had confidence that they would be none otherwise minded, he had confidence that they would return to the true gospel. That’s why Paul poured his heart out in this epistle to them; to bring them back to the truth.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10-12).
Now turn to Galatians 1:10. Question: was Paul saying, let those false teachers be accursed, a radical thing, in his day, like it is in our day? Well apparently it was, at least to some degree; apparently Paul knew that him declaring them accursed would be offensive to some. Because Paul made it very clear, in Galatians 1:10, that his job was not to try and please men. He said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Paul understood that what he was saying would not be pleasing to most men.
And there’s a straight forward, and profoundly important lesson in this verse: if you’re going to be a servant of Christ, you’re not going to please men; Paul said, “… if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Now we’re talking about being a servant of Christ, not just a spiritual baby in Christ, carried to and fro by every wind of doctrine, but if you are determined to be an actual servant, if you’re gonna be an unashamed of the gospel, soul-winning servant of Jesus Christ, then you will not please men. Ok, now this flies in the face of the modern-day perception of Christianity, but if you’re going to be a servant of Christ, you cannot please men.
But everybody loves Billy Graham! Well… yeah, that’s because he’s a false preacher. He’s loved because his repent-of-your-sins-to-be-saved false gospel, is a man-pleasing gospel. It’s works based. And works-based gospels allow people to boast about their own works, which is really boasting about themselves. And I’ve only watched a few sermons from this Jason Cooley joke of a Baptist pastor, but every sermon of his that I’ve seen, he’s boasting about his works; he’s boasting about how he repented from all these drugs that he used to do, and he’s boasting about repenting of all the fornicating that he used to do. Every sermon of his I’ve seen, he boasts about the sins he’s repented of. He isn’t glorifying God, he’s glorying in his own works of repentance.
And that’s the appeal of false, works-based gospels, and false, works-based religions, the glory does not go to God, the glory goes to one’s self, and one’s own works. In the second half of Galatians, chapter 1, Paul gives his testimony; Paul talks about how he got saved, and what he did after getting saved. But the point of Paul’s testimony is not to boast about his own works, the point of Paul’s testimony is to glorify God. The last two verses of Galatians read, “But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me” (Galatians 1:23-24). This was the point of Paul’s testimony, not to boast about the sins he repented of, and they were big ones, but rather Paul wanted to glorify God with his conversion story. Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 9, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am …” And Paul’s testimony in Galatians is, likewise, full of humility; it’s not about himself or his works of repentance, but about the grace of God, the undeserved gift of God that he received; that way God gets the glory. Paul said, starting in Galatians 1:15, “But when it pleased God [Ok? we’re talking about pleasing God, not pleasing men] -but when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen …” It’s about pleasing God, it’s about the grace of God, it’s about preaching Christ. This is the true gospel, and this is how you can identify true gospel preachers; they are constantly pointing towards Christ, and not to their own works of repentance.
Again, in Galatians 1:6, the true gospel is called the grace of Christ. Grace is defined as a gift (in Ephesians 2:8). The true gospel is that salvation is a gift, that’s received through faith, and not by the works of repentance. The gospel is that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day. We deserve the punishment of death and hell for our sins, but Christ took that punishment for us; and he offers us salvation from hell, if we just put our faith on him to save us. That is the grace of Christ, the true gospel, may God bless every preacher that preaches this true gospel, and if any man preach any other gospel, let him be accursed.