posted by Tim Sherwood
The end of 2 Corinthians and the beginning of Galatians is Paul speaking strongly and boldly against any other gospel than the one he originally communicated to these early converts. In the first 5 verses of Galatians, Paul outlines the simple and pure gospel. That Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins in accordance with God’s plan (verse 4). That God raised Jesus from the dead and affirms Him as the Lord of Lords (verses 1 and 5). Paul so emphatically defends the one true gospel for two reasons, he desperately loves the Corinthians and Galatians and he loves Christ even more.
How do we know that Paul is concerned about these two churches hearing and believing something other than what he taught them about Christ? We see it in 2 Corinthians 11: 3-4, “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”
We also see it in 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 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 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. 9 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.
Paul is willing to be thought of and called a fool for the gospel. He is willing to argue, beg, plead, and fight for the gospel. Why? Because it is all that matters. It is God’s original and only plan to redeem mankind. It is the reason Jesus came to earth. He cares too much for those that he told the good news in Corinth and Galatia to have them miss the incredible grace of God by adding something to it. Most importantly, he loves Christ too much to insult him in saying that what he did on the cross was not enough.
I don’t like to think about this myself, but when I add anything to the gospel beyond the unbelievable gift of God through Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, I am telling Christ He is not enough. If you have accepted the wonderful gift purchased by Christ’s blood, don’t try to add anything to it. If you have been waiting to “clean up your act” before coming to Christ, don’t bother, you can’t. The good news is you don’t have to.