Galatians 1:6-9 – The Danger of Perverting the Gospel

Galatians is a powerful letter emphasizing Christians’ freedom in Christ as vastly superior to the bondage of the Law of Moses (or any other law). Paul also sets out in Galatians to defend his apostleship since, if his apostolic authority could be questioned, so could the message he preached. At the outset, he says he is an apostle, “not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father” (Galatians 1:1). Paul’s agitation and frustration is evident throughout because some were trying to pervert the gospel message of Jesus.

In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul warns of the danger of perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is shocked to see them turning away from Christ’s gospel to a perverted message. Paul says the perverted message is not of the same kind or class as the true gospel message. Paul further tells them (and us) that, even were an angel from heaven to give a message that differs from or alters the gospel message, that angel is not only to be disbelieved, but he is accursed. And, to be sure the reader “gets it,” the Spirit had Paul say it one more time: “As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9). Is it safe to say God is serious about not tampering with His message?

Most religious-minded folks would say, “Amen” to this article so far. Few easily see themselves as “gospel-perverters”; doing so requires serious, honest self-examination (2 Corinthians 13:5). But, consider…
 When the Bible says salvation is not solely by

faith (mere mental assent, as in James 2:24), but an individual/group teaches salvation by faith alone, how is that not perverting the gospel message?

 When the Bible says women are not to teach or have authority over a man (1 Timothy 2:11-14), but women then teach, preach, etc. in mixed assemblies, how is that not perverting the gospel?

More examples could be given, but the point is made. Let us each examine ourselves and be certain we are not perverting the gospel, and let us study to be certain we are not following a perverted gospel for, as Jesus Himself says, “If the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14). We surely do not want to find ourselves in the ditch, whether as one who taught a perverted gospel or one who followed such. God has revealed the gospel of Jesus Christ in His word. He is authoritative, and He is serious. Our sole responsibility is to obey the gospel of Christ.

— Chad Dollahite