There Is No Other Gospel!
Apart From Faith In Jesus Christ For Salvation, There Is No Other Gospel!
The message of the Gospel in the book of Galatians can be summarised in this way:
According to the will of the Father, in wishing grace and peace upon us, He has provided for us a deliverer, a saviour, Jesus the Son of God, born of a woman (Galatians 4:4).
Our God provided a ‘deliverer’ king, who has loved us and given himself for us. He died for our sins, but was raised from the dead so that he could rescue us from the sinful dominion that we belonged to. He has delivered us into his Father’s family, to now become the children of God. Faith in the Son of God, by the grace of the Father, blesses us with righteousness and causes us to live (no longer ‘dead in sins’).
Our old identity and self is left behind as we move forward, believing in and having faith in the perfect Son of God (and in his crucifixion of sin). Christ will live in us and our lives will be transformed as we believe in Jesus and appreciate the great love he has shown to each of us individually. In the words of Paul; Christ… lives in me. And the life I now live… I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20-21 (ESV)
Paul’s letter to the Galatians also explains what it would look like if we moved away to another Gospel:
We would seek another (humanly devised) means or method for grace and peace to come to us from the Father, other than through faith in Jesus Christ, the deliverer, provided for us by the Father.
Our aim in this blog is to say very little apart from quoting passages from the book of Galatians. All the text highlighted in blue is ‘the true Gospel’, contrasted against ‘a false gospel’, which is highlighted in orange.
Galatians 1:3-5 – Opening Greeting: Grace and Peace from;
- God, the Father and
- Our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) – the one who gave himself for our sins to rescue and deliver us from the present evil/wicked age (a far greater Egyptian deliverance – Acts 7:34-35) and all this was according to the will (the desire) of God our Father!
Galatians 1:6 (ESV) – The ESV translates this perfectly: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ (Messiah) and are turning to a different gospel”
- Deserting Him who called you = is explained in context as: God the Father, who oversaw the provision of the Messiah according to His will and desire.
- In the Grace of Christ = is explained by context: grace and peace comes to us in the Messiah, who gave himself for our sins, to rescue and deliver us from a wicked world.
- To another Gospel = is explained to be another (supposed) way for grace and peace to come to us from the Father, other than through Christ, the deliverer provided by the Father.
Galatians 1:7 – Some are seeking to change / pervert / distort ‘the Gospel of Christ’ – this could mean:
The gospel that we heard and received from Christ… OR the gospel about the Messiah.
We will see that both are true!
Galatians 1:11 – In verse 11, Paul wants us to know about “the Gospel preached by me”
Galatians 1:12 – Paul was taught his Gospel by “a revelation from Jesus Christ” (see point 1 from verse 7 above). So it is firstly, ‘the Gospel of Christ’, because we heard it from him.
Galatians 1:16 (CSB) – “God… was pleased to reveal His Son in me, so that I could preach him among the Gentiles” (CSB) (see point 2 from verse 7 above) So it is secondly, ‘the Gospel of Christ’, because the good news is about Christ.
Galatians 1:23-24 (CSB) – “I remained personally unknown to the Judean churches that are in Christ. They simply kept hearing: “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me”
Galatians 2:2 (CSB) – “after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem… and presented to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles”
Galatians 2:4-9 (ESV) – “Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you… when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised”
Galatians 2:11-16 (ESV) – “But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel (i.e. putting a difference between Jew and Gentile believers in Christ), I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified”
Paul now arrives back to confirm his very important opening comment of Galatians 1:3-4! – “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:3-4 NKJV)
Galatians 2:20-21 (ESV) – “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose”
Galatians 3:1 (GNT) – “You foolish Galatians! Who put a spell on you? Before your very eyes you had a clear description of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross!”
Galatians 3:3 (ESV) – “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”
Galatians 3:5-6 (ESV) – “So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith?— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness?”
Galatians 3:8 (ESV) “the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham”
Galatians 3:10 (ESV) – “all who rely on works of the law are under a curse”
Galatians 3:11 (ESV) – “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “the righteous shall live by faith”
Galatians 3:14 (NET) – “in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith”
Galatians 3:22 (CSB) – “But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin’s power, so that the promise might be given on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ to those who believe”
Galatians 3:26-29 (CSB) – “through faith you are all sons of God in Christ Jesus. For those of you who were baptised into Christ have been clothed with Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed (i.e. the special son – Jesus), heirs according to the promise”
Galatians 4:4-7 (NKJV) – “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ”
Galatians 5:3-4 (NASB) – “And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace”
Galatians 5:6 (NASB) – “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love”
Galatians 5:13 (ESV) – “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another”
Galatians 6:12-16 (ESV) “It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God”
From this brief examination of the key narrative contained in the letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul has clearly demonstrated that there is no other method, no other Gospel of salvation than that which comes through belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As the Apostles preached: “Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone” Acts 4:12 (CEV).
To teach any other means of salvation is not even a Gospel. As Paul said: “I am amazed how quickly you are deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is not even a gospel” – Galatians 1:6-7. Any other theory or religion that humanity might devise – whether it be salvation through adherence to religious traditions, laws, or rituals, as the Galatians had fallen prey to, or some other devised system – they all lack efficacy to save humanity from the predicament of sin and death, as they are dependant on our human capacity to deliver.
As Paul pointed out to the Galatians in Chapter 3:10 and 5:3, we are unable to live God’s law perfectly, or any law for that matter; it is not possible that we can perfect ourselves by the flesh (our own power and effort), instead our salvation is effected by God’s power (His Spirit). Without this, sin remains as the obstacle between the divine life and our current condition.
Accepting the grace which He has so generously extended through His Son to the world is the only means to righteousness and redemption. On our behalf, the exceeding greatness of His power was revealed in the victory over sin, which victory was finished in the crucifixion of Christ. All we can do, and are asked to do, is believe and trust in God and His Son; in everything He is and in everything He has promised to do for us (by His Spirit), both now and in the future. Our faith, energised by the love of God in Christ for us, becomes a transformative force in our lives to bring us to fullness in Christ.
This is the personal aspect of the GOOD NEWS (the Gospel) and is accessible to all humanity through Christ!
To conclude, let’s return to these beautiful words:
“Through faith you are all sons of God in Christ Jesus. For those of you who were baptised into Christ have been clothed with Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed (i.e. the special son of Abraham, Jesus), heirs according to the promise” – Galatians 3:26-29 (CSB)