But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
From your first memories right up to today, there is no better way to learn and remember things than repetition. Repeating things over and over, practicing it over and over creates something of a highway in our brain. The more we say it, the more we do it, the easier it becomes to remember it, or to repeat it.
I started bowling before I can remember. I would always bowl for free after my mom’s league was done. My first bowling league was in the first grade, using an old pair of my mom’s shoes with cotton stuffed in the toes so they would fit.
I started with a three-step approach and moved to four steps after I saw that’s what the pro’s did on television. I worked in different bowling alleys so I could bowl for free. I bowled multiple times a week till I was in my 20’s.
While it’s been a while since I bowled, those steps and arm movements are burned into my memory. And why? Repetition. Doing the same thing over and over again. We repeat what we want to learn. We repeat what’s important.
And that’s exactly what Paul’s doing here. He’s repeating a very important truth. It’s so important that it’s worth his time and energy to repeat it. He’s saying that there is only one gospel, one good news. That good news is that we can have a restored relationship with God by faith in what Jesus did on the cross.
And if anyone says there is another way to be restored to God, then they are under God’s curse. Let’s be clear what that means. When someone is under God’s curse, they have chosen against God. They weren’t tricked or deceived, they had the information and chose.
Their choice leads to actions that are in rebellion to God. The result is God’s judgement and condemned to an eternity of separation from God. They will live out the rest of time in hell. And once you’re condemned, that’s it. You’re done.
But it’s interesting who Paul lists as possible sources of these other gospels.
We – If Paul, or those who were with him, were to change their mind, they would be wrong. It doesn’t matter if those people who led the Galatians to Christ were to talk about other ways to have their relationship with God made new, it would still be wrong.
Angel – If some spiritual being talks about another way to be restored to God, they would be wrong too. Some people believe their vision, visit from some spiritual creature, or from another world, then it must be better than anything here on planet earth.
Anyone – It doesn’t matter who might say something different, anything other than God taking away our sins in Jesus is wrong. It doesn’t matter how popular they are, how many social media followers or likes thy have, they’re still wrong.
Changing your mind isn’t a bad thing. After all, that’s what repentance is. But to move from grace through faith in Jesus to anything else is more than just moving in the wrong direction. It’s moving against God.
Think about it like this. A loving parent has given a great and precious gift to their child. They love that child so much; they would do anything for them. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what the parent did. They went to the ends of the earth, spared no expense. They not only were willing to do anything, they actually did anything and everything for them.
And the parent gives that priceless gift to their child. The child looks it over, understands what it is and how much it personally cost their parent. The child drops it, turns away from their loving parent, and then goes after some cheap imitation.
Turning away from God is all that bad, and worse. He wants nothing but our absolute best, but we’re determined to do our own thing. All we’re concerned about is doing what we think will satisfy our deep inner hunger, relieve that inner emptiness and pain.
But in reality, trying to fix ourselves, heal ourselves, answer questions from within, is exactly the wrong way to go about it. When I was told I had cancer on my arm, I didn’t go into the garage, pull out an X-ACTO knife and carve myself up. Yes, that was an option, but not a very good one.
No, I went to someone skilled, someone who knew the human anatomy. I put myself under their care. I willingly gave up my rights to someone who wanted nothing but to heal me.
And that’s what God wants to do. Heal you. Make you new. But we have to give ourselves over to him first.
What’s stopping you?
How do you identify “another” gospel?
What are the sources you see of these other gospels?
How is God making you new in your daily life?