The gospel of Jesus Christ is an exclusive, narrow, and nonnegotiable message. While there is only one way to preach it, there are seemingly endless ways to distort and pervert it. And even the smallest alteration strips the gospel of its saving power. The apostle Paul understood that the eternal stakes couldn’t be higher:
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing 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 what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:6–9)
If Paul reserved his harshest repudiation—damnation itself—for those who get the gospel wrong, it follows that there is no more important realm of theology we need to get right.
John MacArthur’s sermon “No Other Gospel” carefully examines Paul’s shocking words in Galatians 1:6–9. He points out that
this passage is extremely disturbing to the postmodern mind. It is extremely disturbing to the tolerant world in which we live. But it is absolutely necessary, because salvation is at stake, and it only happens through belief in the true gospel.
Moreover, John openly acknowledges that the threats to gospel purity are as prevalent today as they were in first-century Galatia.
Assaults on the gospel are relentless. They have always been present, since the very beginning. Here we are very early in the life of the apostles. I told you last time that Galatians is likely the second New Testament book written. Already at the beginning of the ministry of the apostles—just halfway through the first century—there is already widespread distortion of the gospel, promulgated by Satan, his demons, and his human agents. And it’s been going on since then down to this very day, and will always be Satan’s greatest effort.
“No Other Gospel” delves into the deception that seduced many members of the Galatian church. The assault on the gospel was subtle yet damnable. Moreover, what happened in Galatia closely parallels many seductive errors that now plague modern evangelicalism.
Passivity has never been an option for God’s people. We need to be wise to Satan’s assaults on the purity of the gospel. Furthermore we are called to “contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). John’s sermon is a timely call to arms for all Christians. In it he reminds us of the preciousness of the gospel, equips us to distinguish between true and false versions, and shows us why we must be ever vigilant in guarding that message from every conceivable attack.
Click here to watch or listen to “No Other Gospel.”
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