"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. 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 1:6‑9
Paul was amazed that the churches of Galatia had been removed from the Lord unto another gospel. But he proceeds to say in verse 7 that there is not another gospel. In other words, there is only one gospel, and Paul said in Romans 1:16 that, "it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first and also to the Greek." He defined this gospel in I Cor. 15:3‑4 as the one he delivered unto the church at Corinth. "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
In Galatians 1:8‑9, Paul makes a couple of hard statements concerning any man or angel (messenger) preaching any other gospel than what he preached or the saints at Galatia received. "Let him be accursed." Accursed means to be condemned to the lake of fire, or separated from Christ forever. He makes this statement under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. In other words, God said, "let any man or messenger who would pervert (change, corrupt, or turn about) the gospel of Christ, be accursed." That individual deserves hell because he is leading others astray, thereby making them "twofold more the child of hell." (Mat. 23:15)
We are living in a day when many are preaching another gospel. We will deal with only four:
1. CULTS ‑ We will define a cult, for the benefit of this paper, as a religious group who leave Jesus out of their teaching. When He is left out, their message is not the gospel or "good news" because there is no salvation when you leave Him out. Acts 4:12 speaks about Jesus, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." I'll not spend much space dealing with the cults because they are cursed, and Paul in essence said, "Let them go on to hell." By the way, some religions who use the name of Jesus could be identified as a cult since Webster's define a cult as, "devoteded attachment to, or admiration for, a person, principle, etc."
2. BAPTISMAL REGENERATION ‑ There is no such thing! By this term we refer to those who believe that Baptism is necessary for one to be saved. They teach that one's sins are washed away in the baptismal water. They quote part of a verse, many times, to prove their point, such as Acts 22:16 when Ananias spoke to Paul and said, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins." This is all they quote but the rest of the verse says, "calling on the name of the Lord." One's sins are washed away when He calls on the name of the Lord (Rom. 10:13) and one can only do that by the Holy Ghost (I Cor. 12:3). The Holy Ghost, must work godly sorrow that works repentance, and produce faith in an individual before he can call on the name of the Lord and be saved by having his sins washed in the blood of Jesus, not baptismal waters. If any man or messenger preaches baptismal regeneration, God's word says, "let them be accursed."
3. WORKS ‑ Works is human merit mingled with grace which is another gospel. Eph. 2:8‑9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Titus 3:5, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Salvation is Jesus, plus nothing and minus nothing, with no human merit involved. All religions, whatever the names, can be divided into two divisions: (1) Do Religion and (2) Done Salvation. A "done salvation" means that Jesus did it all for me and when I receive Him and His finished work by faith, then I'm saved, it's done. A "do religion" is when one has to add human merit to grace to save him, keep him, or perfect him. When one does that, they are preaching another gospel and God's word says, "let them be accursed."
4. WORD ONLY ‑ By this I am referring to those who preach their words right, but their practice does not match what the Word teaches. I Thess. 1:5 says, "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance." The Holy Ghost must empower the Word so as to produce godly sorrow and conviction. II Cor. 3:6 says, "...the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." One can have the right words but short‑circuit the work of the Holy Spirit in practice, thereby causing many to think they are saved when, in reality, they are still lost and have no real assurance.
The Pharisees had the word but didn't have Jesus and eternal life. In John 5:39‑40 Jesus said, "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." John 1:4 says, "In Him was life." I John 5:12 says, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." If you don't have the Son, you don't have life. For years I had the revelation of the Son (word only), but I didn't have Him, the reality of Him. There is a difference. The difference between life and death.
We preachers need to preach the gospel of Christ which is the revelation of Him and then leave it to the Holy Ghost to produce the reality in the individual's heart. Paul said in I Cor. 3:6‑7, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." We can only plant and water, but God must give the increase. When we practice anything different, we really are preaching another gospel and God's word said "let him be accursed."
The sad thing about it is that those who receive "word only" (another gospel) are also cursed, headed to a devil's hell, and their blood will be upon the hands of those who preach another gospel. I'm disturbed at the fact that we as Baptists, in a large percentage, have been "removed from Him that called us into the grace of Christ unto another gospel, which is not another."
Brethren, let's get back to preaching and practicing the gospel of Christ that is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe, so others will not have to be accursed.
THE PERSUADER - August-Sept., 1989