I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.
There are penalties in sports as well as life. Growing up bowling, I always stayed behind the foul line. The idea of being publicly penalized and losing pins was just too much to bear.
There are penalties and then there are penalties. There are fouls and then there are fouls. In football, when the referee throws their little yellow flag, the number of yards tells you how bad it was.
5 Yards – not to bad
10 Yards – pretty bad
15 Yards – really bad.
Certain football penalties don’t stop there. In addition to moving backward, the offense can also lose a down. At the end of the game, a penalty can cause time to be taken off the clock, shortening the game. A player can be thrown out for a really bad act.
Penalties are like that. Some are mild because the offense wasn’t all that bad. It’s still wrong, but not all that wrong. Others are worse. And then there are those acts that have severe penalties.
It was like that growing up in my house. Depending on what I did or said, the penalty changed.
Minor – yelling
Medium – fly swatter
Big – wooden spoon across my knuckles
Huge – the nuclear option of waiting till dad and his belt got home
Different penalties for different actions are also followed with spiritual truths. They are all wrong, but some are handled differently. For example, Mark wasn’t allowed to join Paul and Barnabas because of his past unfaithfulness.
For some actions, the punishment is immediate. Ananias and Sapphira were both instantly killed by God for lying to the Holy Spirit. Taking the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner can cause sickness, eventually leading to death.
The people who were pushing the Galatian Christians away from looking only to Jesus weren’t just a little bit wrong. They were way wrong. This wasn’t some minor question that there is room for debate and difference.
No, this is at the center of who Jesus is and what he’s done. Jesus claimed to be God and to pay for all our sins; past, present, and future. Anything else, anything less is a major problem. It’s a huge question that has to be fixed immediately.
And like all other serious violations, it comes with a serious penalty. They had been working hard to shake the confidence of the Galatians in Jesus and his death on the cross. They continually pushed them to think that they had to do something to add to his sacrifice.
It doesn’t get any more serious than this. When you move away from Jesus being enough to restore us to God, you open up the biggest can of worms in the world.
You move Jesus and all of Christianity down from being completely different from all other religions and make it the same. You take the uniqueness of who Jesus is and what he did and throw it into the dirt. You make him no different than anyone else.
And that deserves a penalty. Boy does that deserve a penalty. I can’t think of anything more horrible than taking God off his throne and making him just another guy. Either God is who he is or not. Period. There’s no middle ground.
Paul is confident in who Jesus is. He knows that he’s Lord, the one who paid the price for all his sins, and the sins of the whole world. He’s totally persuaded that nothing can separate him from the love of God that’s in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When Paul says that they will pay a penalty, he’s not talking about paying a toll. This is no slap on the wrist for some minor parking violation. They knowingly traveled to Galatia for the purpose of changing their minds. For deceiving them about who Jesus is.
God’s judgment and penalty for this is terrible. But it’s to push the guilty back to the faith once and for all given to his people. His love doesn’t want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Today is your day to come.
 Acts 15:37,38
 Acts 5:1-11
 1 Corinthians 11:29,30
 Romans 8:38,39
 Jude 1:3
 2 Peter 3:9