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The Unchangeable Word of God in an Ever Changing World


"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!

10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ."
Good Morning Beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We're so glad you're here. 

One of the most frequently used phrases in every Christian circle, is the phrase "the gospel." However, amazingly. there seems to be few adults, that know what this term means. It could either refer to its literal translation, "Good News;" or to the perspective that salvation is available only through the sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ and a person’s acceptance of Christ as their savior.
According to Barna Research, less than four out of ten adults, approximately 37%, knew this; 34% had other, inaccurate perceptions of the meaning of the term; three out of ten adults did not even bother to guess. Even among born again Christians, only a shocking 60%, correctly identified at least one meaning of this expression.

So, before we get into our text today, I'd like to clear this matter up. "The gospel" is the good news about salvation, the good news about salvation. Furthermore, anyone who distorts the good news about salvation is cursed. This may sound like severe language. That's because it is! It is as harsh as the Word of God ever gets, pronouncing a damning double curse on those who distort or alter the gospel. The gospel, the good news of salvation in Christ, by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, is the only way that sinners can escape hell and enter heaven. And, it is by believing the true gospel.

Let's bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father,
We thank You for directly to us today, through Your Word. Lord, we pray that Your Holy Spirit, would unleash the powerful truth contained in Your Word for us, that the urgency of heaven might call upon us to faithfully contend with the gospel, more earnestly. That we might boldly proclaim the gospel message, with renewed understanding, that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. And not of works. Any efforts of men, any works, any acts seen as somehow contributing to one’s salvation nullifies grace, puts that person under the law, and the law demands perfection or damnation. 
We pray that we may be clear on the gospel, in our own minds, for the sake of others that we need to reach, and for the sake of Christ. Grant us, the necessary boldness in telling others the truth. 
Father, if there be any among us, that have never heard the gospel, the message of salvation, we pray that You might soften their hearts, open their ears, that they might hear it today.
All for the furtherance of the gospel, Your glory, and for Christ's sake.
We pray this in His precious name 
Today's Message: The Unchangeable Word of God in an Ever Changing World
In the last 40 or so years, there has been a proliferation of "new gospels" in the United States. Some such as the "new age"belief system are rooted in eastern mysticism, such as Hinduism. Others are based more on pop-psychology than they are on the gospel. But whatever their origin they are misdirecting men and women away from the only truth that can save you from your sin, the Word of the One true God! The Gospel Needs No Additions. The Gospel Needs No Additions!

The core of Paul's letter, is that the people at Galatia have turned away from the life changing truth of God’s Word. 

Open with me your Bibles, to the book of Galatians chapter 1. In our ongoing study of Paul's epistle to the believers, in the five verses that we are going to study today, the apostle gives us four abiding principles concerning the true gospel. The Word of God.
I'd like to invite you to follow along with me, as I read to you, to get our text settled in our minds and our hearts. Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit.

"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! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ."

There is a word there repeated twice, it is the word "accursed." It is the Greek word "anathema." which means a thing devoted to God for destruction. Devoted to God for destruction.

Paul says in verse six, "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel."
Paul starts off without any reluctance, without hesitation, but with a direct, a confrontational message, that is not something that you would hear most preachers preaching today. A fierce declaration of divine punishment without reservation.
I'd like you to notice, that these false teachers are not openly denying the gospel message. They sought to "improve the gospel," by adding to it, requirements, new ceremonies and new standards. It is as if they are saying, "We believe in Jesus Christ – but we have something so wonderful, we just want to add it to what you already believe!" What is at least implied, is that the faith that these believers have is not sufficient. Why? Because they believed that something more is needed. That just does not pass Paul’s inspection. God's Word needs no additions!

What they viewed as a "different gospel," was actually a distorted gospel, a perversion of the truth. The word translated "distort" means to transform into something of an opposite character. To pull or twist something out of shape. To give a misleading or false account or impression of.

In our culture today, there is no absolute truth. There is no absolute truth. You can have your truth, and I can have my truth. You live your truth, and I'll live mine. And, whatever anyone chooses to believe, is, the truth. Their truth. Further, no one should condemn anyone else for anything they believe, or any form of religion that they adhere to. 
Nothing, and I stress, NOTHING, could be further from the truth! A lie is a lie, even if everyone believes it. And the truth is the truth, even if no one believes it!
I'd like to give fair warning, today's message, is going to be extremely disturbing to the post-modern mind. It is going to be disturbing to the very tolerant world in which we live. However, it is absolutely necessary. Why? Because your salvation is at stake! Your salvation is at stake! And salvation can only happen through the absolute belief in the one true gospel.

So, in verse seven, Paul goes on to clarify this by saying, "which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ."

The Message translates the verse this way. "It is not a minor variation, you know; it is completely other, an alien message, a no-message, a lie about God. Those who are provoking this agitation among you are turning the Message of Christ on its head."
And The Living Bible, says it this way, "For there is no other way than the one we showed you; you are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ."
Regardless of the translation, Paul's message is explicit. Paul is saying that this new gospel or other "good news," is in reality not the gospel or "good news" at all. It is a counterfeit! It's false! In verses six and seven, Paul uses two different Greek words, to describe their spiritual defection to another, the first is "heterous" – another of a different kind of gospel, which is not another, or "allos" – another of the same kind.
Beloved, Not Only Does The Gospel Not Need Any Additions Added To It But Distorting The Gospel, Perverting The Word of God,  Is Very Serious Business!
In verse eight, Paul invokes a curse on anyone, himself included, who distorts the gospel. "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!"
Paul's message here is straightforward, forceful, and a pronunciation of damnation. In other words, Paul is saying that real problem of another gospel is not only that it is a bad idea, and not only that it lacks authentic power, because it is a fake, but that it is dangerous!
In the Old Testament, time and time again, God was pronouncing curses on people who turned against Him. Then, we come to the New Testament, and in Mark 11, you see Jesus going into Jerusalem, seeing a fig tree and cursing the fig tree. This was symbolic. Symbolic of the Divine curse on the nation Israel for its rejection of God and the Messiah. Jesus attacked the Jewish religious system of His day, at the beginning of His ministry, when He assaulted the temple, at the end of His ministry when He did it again. The curse that comes out of the mouth of Jesus is directly from heaven. There is a curse from God when God is not pleased. And that curse is severe and everlasting.
I have had some ask, "OK, but that was then, in the Old Testament and 2000 years ago with Jesus. That doesn't happen today!" Well, let me just say, what does the Bible say about it? Turn with me to I Corinthians 16:22. Allow me to just read that to you, "If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha."
Now turn to Matthew 25:41, "Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;"
Paul’s curse is very clear, and it is severe. And, it applies to anyone who perverts the gospel. In fact,  those false teachers, in the apostolic era that Paul is addressing here, they are there in the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and separated from God and Christ right now. 
And continually throughout all of human history, those who do not come in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ to love Him, acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior are cursed and are sent to eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 
Let's face it, in culture sensitive English translations, we lose some of the passion, the intensity, the heat of this verse in the original language. He says in verse eight, "If anyone comes with another gospel let him be damned." And in verse nine, he continues the thought by saying, "And if you believe it you will be damned too!" 
Well, if nothing else, I probably just got your attention! This is not a curse word, it is using the word damned in its proper sense – that is these individuals will be damned, separated from God and eternally punished. Those who distort the gospel message are rejecting the authority of Christ and are therefore cursed or anathema, in the Greek. Paul is not talking about church discipline, his language is far too explicit, far too strong for that. No, Paul is invoking God’s final damnation and wrath on people who distort the gospel. 
I am compelled to mention, that curse, that invocation of God's final damnation, is no less meaningful, no less powerful, no less severe, no less true today, than it was all throughout the Scriptures. Allow me to put it another way, those who dishonor God, those who reject Jesus Christ are damned. And those who teach another gospel, and those who believe it, are damned. Clear enough now?

As I have stated many times before, the assaults on the gospel are relentless. And, it has been since the beginning and continues until this very day! This widespread distortion of the gospel, is promulgated by Satan, his demons, and his human agents.

The apostle Paul, as with any true teacher of the Word, who is faithful to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the gospel, is very, very concerned about this serious issue. I am sure you will remember, from our earlier study, that Paul said in II Corinthians 11:3, "But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." 
So, in verse seven, Paul goes on to say, of this false gospel, that other gospel "which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ."
In other words, what Paul is saying is there is no "slight variation" of the gospel, it's either the true gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of grace or its false! What appears to be an acceptable variation of the Word of God, is a lie, a deception, it's not from God! You cannot tamper with God. You cannot tamper with Christ. You cannot tamper with the finished work of the cross. You cannot tamper with grace, or faith. You cannot tamper with the gospel! Any tampering with the gospel, is a false gospel! 
Beloved, you just cannot be more clear than that! That's he says  "they are disturbing you, they’re disturbing you." The Greek word Paul uses here is, "tarassontes," meaning to stir up, to trouble. To agitate.

In John 14:1, Jesus used the same word in comforting His disciples, when He said, "Do not let your heart be troubled;— "tarassontes,"—believe in God, believe also in Me."
Today, one distortion of the gospel is preached in order to fit Christianity in a tolerant, materialistic society. The message of this gospel is which we can call "the gospel of success" or "the prosperity Gospel," is based on the premise that God wants only to bless you therefore you can only expect good things from Him if you follow him. The problem with this gospel is that it completely ignores the fact that in Christian life there is sorrow, there is also suffering, there is death. The key of the gospel of Jesus is not the avoidance of life events, but the possibility to overcome them. 
Yet another problem, is it fails to teach, that part of Christianity, is transformation. II Corinthians 5:17, very clearly teaches us, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 
This other gospel only teaches that Jesus meets you where you are, He loves you as you are, He accepts you as you are.  Now, all of that is true, however, He does not intend to leave you as He found you. You will be transformed, in Christ, you become a new person. You cannot continue to live as you did before Christ, "the old things have passed away." "New things have come." Beloved, that is a very critical part of the gospel message. You can't just omit that, and still claim to be teaching the true gospel!
The Galatians were being thrown into confusion, into to chaos, by this vicious attack on the gospel of grace, that salvation comes by faith alone, in Christ alone. Paul's message is clear and concise, you cannot alter the gospel and still claim it to be the gospel. You just can't do that.
In Galatians chapter 5, verse two, he says. "Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you." What Paul is saying here, is if you receive circumcision as part of your salvation, then Christ is useless, He's of no benefit. You've just cancelled your salvation. 

Beloved, that is just how exclusive the gospel is, any variation is that extreme. It's detrimental to your salvation. 

Now, I'd like you to substitute the word circumcision for the word baptism. If you receive baptism as part of your salvation, Christ is no benefit to you. Salvation comes through grace, by faith alone, in Christ alone. Adding anything else to the conditions of your salvation, you've cancelled Christ, you've cancelled His finished work on the cross, therefore, you have cancelled your salvation. 
If you somehow believe, that you can save yourself, go for it! However, you have then placed yourself under the law and best you keep the law perfectly, without error, because if you don't, your damned!

Look, as Christian’s in America today, we believe in freedom of religion. However,  Christian’s must realize that does not make all other religions equal. That does not make them true. While we must defend the right of each individual, in this country to worship as they choose, in so doing we must not defend that all religions are  "the truth."
The words of Jesus makes this elusive claim only to the gospel, only to faith in Him when he said in John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
And, in Acts 4:12, the message is quite clear, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
Only the true Gospel can produce real life transforming change!  The strongest argument for the Gospel of Christ is the personal testimony of someone whose life has been changed by it. When we lose the Gospel of Grace, we also lose the only message that has the power to heal. We lose the power to change lives.
Remember the demon possessed man in Luke chapter eight? And what about the blind man in John nine? The lame man in Acts 3:2
In verse ten, Paul tells his readers why he is saying these things. "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ." Paul says that he is not trying to be sensational. He is not saying these things, as some preachers do, because he knows it is a good safe topic and he can count on some hearty Amens. He is saying them because there is only ONE truth and ONE gospel message, that Jesus Christ came and died for men’s sins! That is the only real truth.

Has the Gospel of Grace changed your life?

In Closing...
Do you believe that your salvation came by grace, through faith alone, in Christ alone? 
Do you believe that Christ's sacrificial and atoning death paid the price in full for your sins? Because to understand the gospel is to understand salvation. And to understand salvation is to understand our need for a Savior.
Before you go and get a big head, regarding your ability to respond to the gospel comes by the Grace of God. I'd like to remind you of something, it isn't about you. IT is still all about Him!
Every other religion, requires you to do something to receive salvation. Why? Because that fits in with this man-centered, self-serving society we live in. "Look at what I can do!"

You cannot do anything to save yourself! Only the true Gospel can! You cannot do anything to save yourself! Only the true Gospel can!

However, the true gospel will not win you any popularity contests among your friends, the true gospel is offensive to people. Why? Because the true gospel strips a person of their pride, it leaves a person empty handed and naked before a Perfect and Holy God. It leaves a person defenseless before God, with absolutely nothing, nothing at all to offer Him to make things right. It's not about what you can do, but what He has done!

May it be so...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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