Gal. 1:6-9 "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you
into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another;
but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of
Christ. 8 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. 9 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."
Verse 6 speaks of two gospels. The use
of the term "another gospel" affirms that there is the "true gospel" and
there is "another gospel." The brethren of the churches of Galatia had
removed from the true gospel to another gospel. Further, it wasn't long
after they had been called unto the grace of Christ that they removed to
another gospel. They had started out believing the gospel of the grace
of Christ which is the true gospel. This gospel simply states that we
are saved from our sins by the grace of God through the atoning blood of
Christ. The gospel of the grace of Christ declares that salvation from
sin is by grace alone.
The "other gospel" that the Galatian's
brethren had been removed to is set forth in the 15th chapter of the
book of Acts: 15:1 "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught
the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of
Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no
small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul
and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto
the apostles and elders about this question." These "certain men" were
not arguing that salvation was not by grace, but they were arguing that
in addition to the grace of God the men of the Gentile converts had to
be circumcised after the manner of Moses. This is what I refer to as
"the grace, but" gospel. Simply stated the "grace, but" gospel declares
that you are saved by grace, but you must do something. In this
instance, the something these "certain brethren" were arguing was
This insistence on circumcision as a
requirement for salvation from sin was a big problem in the early
church. A counsel was held in Jerusalem (Acts chapter 15) where the
apostles and elders declared that salvation was by grace only and that
circumcision was not a requirement for salvation from sin. Yet numerous
Jewish false teachers had gone about deluding the people into believing
that they must be circumcised.
In verse 7 Paul declared that this
"another gospel" was not really a gospel. There is only one true gospel.
That true gospel is the "grace of Christ." Anything else that is called
a gospel is not really a gospel. Most of what is taught by men today as
being the gospel is not really the gospel of the grace of Christ. The
vast majority of what is taught as being the gospel of Christ is really
the "grace, but" doctrine which is not the gospel at all.
Men had perverted the true gospel and
come up with the doctrine that circumcision was a requirement for
eternal salvation. The term "pervert" means to corrupt or change. This
is what these men had done. They had corrupted the true gospel of the
grace of Christ and had changed it to embrace an element of the old law
Paul did not have much respect for
those who preached any other gospel than the grace of Christ. Paul
taught that salvation from sin is by grace only. Paul stated "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." Paul called for a
curse to be upon anyone who would preach any other gospel that was not
the gospel of the grace of Christ. In this call for a curse, Paul
included himself or an angel from heaven.
Certainly, this teaches us that even
God called men can preach a false or perverted gospel. The word,
"accursed," comes from the Greek word, "Anathema." Anathema means
excommunicated. Paul is saying that if a man comes among you and
preaches another gospel then the church should exclude him from their
membership and fellowship. There are to be no exceptions. Paul said that
if "any man" preaches "any other" gospel unto you let him be accursed.
Certainly, the Lord's true church cannot have fellowship with those who
teach another gospel and further this implies that we are not to have
church fellowship with those who hold to another gospel and do not
repent of it.
Please note that Paul was laboring
with those in the churches of Galatia to convert them from the error of
their way and to save them from this perverted false gospel. If after
gospel labors these brethren did not repent of their error, then there
would be no remedy but to withdraw fellowship from them.