Paul had spent some time with these people on one of his missionary journeys, and they had received him well. However, after he left them some false teacher had come in who told them that Paul was not to be respected as an apostle, and they began teaching the Galatians that they had to follow the Jewish Law, undermining the freedom that belongs to those who believe in Jesus.
Paul opens the letter by establishing that he is an apostle, chosen not by men, but by Jesus Christ Himself and God the Father. Those are some pretty impressive bona fides, wouldn’t you say? He’s not doing this to impress them, but to answer the charges brought against him by those who made their way into the Galatian church who were questioning his qualifications.
After this, Paul expresses his amazement that they have allowed themselves to be sidetracked to a different Gospel (or Good News) such a short time after becoming believers. He says, “There is no other message that is the Good News, but some people are confusing you. They want to change the Good News about Christ. 8 We told you the true Good News message. So anyone who tells you a different message should be condemned—even if it’s one of us or even an angel from heaven! 9 I said this before. Now I say it again: You have already accepted the Good News. Anyone who tells you another way to be saved should be condemned!”
Other translations say “cursed” or “anathema”. Those are strong words. And I’m sure you noticed the part where Paul said, “even if it’s one of us (who tells a different Gospel” or even an angel from heaven!”
Folks, over the years there have been, and there now are, people who try to change the Good News. Many of them are great salesmen. They often bring a message of love and sunshine and prosperity. And they even sprinkle their message with snippets of scripture. And so did Satan as he tempted Jesus in the desert.
And another message that is popular today is, “Well, listen. There are many ways to interpret scripture. There really isn’t an absolute truth. My truth is this. Maybe your truth is that. That’s cool. Whatever your truth is, is ok.”
I’m here to tell you that Scripture is clear. There is no equivocation in the Good News message. God’s truth is absolute.
Confusion comes only from Satan. God is the author of Truth, not confusion. If you want to know the truth, spend time with God. Get to know what the scriptures say. Study them. Pore over them. Meditate on them. If you have questions, pray to ask for wisdom and seek godly guidance if need be. We have the benefit of over 2000 years’ worth of literature to help us. If you are unsure of the teaching of one man or resource, use a variety of resources.
We live in an age where information is easy to get. Use that to your benefit. But with everything, use discernment. Anything that contradicts the teaching of Scripture is to be discarded.
If you diligently search the scriptures, you will be rewarded with a clear understanding of what the Good News is. God wants you to use all the mental capacity He gave you. Christianity is not about checking your intelligence at the door. As the author of all truth, as the creator of all that is, God is not afraid of your questions or doubts. There are answers, and God will reveal all that He want you to know if you diligently seek Him.
That’s not to say the He will reveal all the mysteries of the universe to you, because not everything is knowable, but you can be sure that of the things that man can know, there are clear and absolute answers.
That may an unfashionable thing to say today, but there truly is black and there truly is white.