Keeping Them Honest

Read Galatians 1

“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.”
(Galatians 1:8)

Thoughts… Every once in a while, it’s so obvious you can’t miss it. Most of the time, however, it’s a subtle, almost imperceptible, theological slight of hand. What I am talking about is the twisting of the pure and simple Gospel.

It happens a lot—more often than you might think. To think that Satan would sit quietly by and allow the Good News to be preached in its simplicity and purity Sunday after Sunday from pulpits and in Sunday School classes or in weekly home group Bible studies would require the willing suspension of disbelief on your part. Satan knows the fundamental power of the Gospel, so he goes after it early and often, trying to pervert it in any way he can.

That’s why Paul writes so many of his letters. That’s why he continually calls believers to alertness. That’s why he gives this sober warning here in the opening verses of Galatians. If anyone, a preacher, teacher, Bible study discussion leader, even an angel from heaven for that matter, brings a Gospel message other that salvation by grace through faith in the atoning death of Christ on the cross and his physical resurrection from the dead, then let the curse of God fall upon them.

So be alert. Be discerning. Check out the sermon to see if it lines up with God’s truth In a sense, God has given you the ministry of spiritual fact checking. Don’t swallow everything you hear hook, line and sinker. Don’t be afraid to ask question if you aren’t sure about what was said. Never let anyone mislead you into thinking that your salvation is based on observing certain laws, or good works or righteous acts or sinless perfection. On the other hand, reject anyone who teaches you that sin doesn’t matter, or whose teaching abuses God’s grace, or who takes advantage of your spiritual liberty by leading you into questionable practices.

Stick to the basic: Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

And don’t be afraid to vet what you hear from your spiritual leader, as much as you love and respect him or her. Keep them honest, and it will keep both you and them faithful to the most important truth in the universe—the Good News!

Prayer… Lord, I believe that you died on the cross as the only possible substitute for my sins. It is only through your sacrificial death that I can receive forgiveness and be made righteous before God the Father. I believe that you rose from the grave after three days, that you now live before the Father to ever intercede on my behalf, and will return one day soon to take me home to be with you forever. It is by the grace of the Father that I have been saved from sin through the gift of faith that has led me to put trust in your redemptive work. I completely trust in you as my Savior and fully follow you as my Lord.

One More Thing…
“It is a remarkable fact that all the heresies which have arisen in the Christian Church have had a decided tendency to ‘dishonor God and to flatter man.’” — Charles Spurgeon

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