Galatians 1:6-9 - I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the Gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
In Jesus Christ the foundation of a new life is laid for everyone. The Gospel of God's Son is the test of everything. It's the test of every religion and every denomination, no matter how big, centuries old, or well organized it may be. Christ is all in all; on Him everything stands (see Ephesians 2:19-22).
This is what St. Paul was saying. There were people trying to add things to be done or observed for the Gospel to be truly effective. How typical this is! People have a deeply ingrained sense that they ought to be doing something to win God's favor. It cuts against the grain to hear the wonderful news that God forgives and accepts sinful people ... simply for the sake of Christ.
The true treasure of the church, said Martin Luther, is the Gospel of God's grace and glory: His Son Jesus. Salvation comes from Him, and from Him alone. Jesus died for our sins, and God forgives our sins for the sake of His Son Jesus. God raised His Son from the dead, and declared Him to be the Son of God with power. His Lordship is God's glory. Jesus Christ is God's very good news to each one of us.
You, my friend, don't have to get right with God. You are made right with Him, put right with Him, justified by Him, and forgiven by Him for the sake of Jesus Christ. You are saved by God through faith in Jesus Christ. All glory belongs to God. There is no other gospel. Paul was so insistent about the Gospel because his life depended upon it. The lives of all those who heard Paul depended on it, too, as do the lives of you and me.
Give glory to the Name of God, my friend. He is God and there is no other. Give glory to Him and obey the Gospel. Believe in His great Son Jesus Christ and in the grace God offers you in Jesus Christ. Accept His forgiveness, and live His life. That's the way to salvation. It's the only way to salvation. There is no other.
This is the Gospel, and it's very good news for each of us! Thanks be to God!
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, You are the Giver of Good News—the Gospel of Your Son. Thank You! Amen.
From "No Other Gospel," a sermon from Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Is it easy to get caught up in thinking something we do adds to the reason why God would save us?
2. What kind of different "gospel" were some of the Galatians turning to and unsettling the faith of believers? (See Galatians 2:3-5, 5:2-6, 6:12-13).
3. How can we stay close to Jesus and not lose sight of what He's done for us on the cross?
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