Is Galatians 1:6-7 contradictory?

IS GALATIANS 1:6-7 CONTRADICTORY?

by Shawn Brasseaux

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7). There is “another gospel” “which is not another?” Is this a contradiction? How should this be resolved? We trust the Holy Spirit is always right, so we need not change the Bible text. May we have a submissive spirit by letting Him teach us His unadulterated Word!

Dear friend, when you can, take some time to read through the six chapters of the book of Galatians. The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to hastily pen that epistle himself (Galatians 6:11) because of the spiritual deception that had so rapidly gripped the grace churches of Galatia (central modern Turkey). Just a short time earlier, Paul had visited these pagan people lost in idolatry. He had preached to them the Gospel of God’s Grace. Once they had heard that good news, they abandoned their vain works-religion. By faith, they came to rely exclusively on Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour—His death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for their sins (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). They were so joyful to have a relationship with the one true God, and a home waiting for them in heaven. However, as the opening verses of Galatians show us, Satan got involved and greatly damaged these precious saints.

“I MARVEL THAT YE ARE SO SOON REMOVED FROM HIM THAT CALLED YOU INTO THE GRACE OF CHRIST…”

Paul “marveled” at just how quickly the Galatians had forsaken the doctrine he had taught them in person just a short time earlier. Before he left them, they had been progressing so well in spiritual maturity. Now, at the time of him writing to them, he was so amazed that they had already abandoned the grace doctrines that the Holy Spirit had given them through him. They were “so soon removed from [Paul] that called [them] into the grace of Christ.”

If they abandoned the “grace of Christ,” then what did they embrace instead? This is quite easy to answer if you are familiar with the book of Galatians. Paul asks in chapter 4, verse 21: “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?” The Galatians “desire to be under the Law.” They prefer works-religion to the grace of God. After all, the two great contrasting systems in the Bible are Law and Grace—you cannot have both. For us in the Dispensation of Grace, we read: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). We are not under the Law but under Grace. God does not deal with us on the basis of our works; He deals with us on the basis of His goodness. Paul had preached this grace-Gospel to the Galatians, but religion had subsequently caused them to forget it. So many believers are just as misled today.

“I MARVEL THAT YE ARE SO SOON REMOVED… UNTO ANOTHER GOSPEL”

As a soldier would abandon his commander’s marching orders, the Galatians had embraced “another gospel.” They had left God’s grace (Paul’s Gospel and ministry) and returned to works-religion (Mosaic Law), a system that was “weak and beggarly” (Galatians 4:9) because it was “weak through [their] flesh” (Romans 8:3). However, the false teachers who had misled them were very sneaky. The preachers of this false gospel sounded very much like the Apostle Paul. Satan did not approach the Galatians with a message that was 100 percent lies. There were seeds of truth in this false gospel. They had taken a pure Gospel message and “perverted” it, still calling it by the same name (“Gospel”) so it appeared genuine. Again, notice: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-7).

Paul had to deal with people mixing Law and Grace in his ministry (this is ongoing even today). Notice Acts chapter 15: “[1] And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the [Gentile] brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. [2] When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. [3] And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. [4] And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. [5] But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

You can read the rest of Acts chapter 15 (and Galatians chapter 2) to learn that the confusion was finally settled. No believing Law-keeping Jews from the Kingdom Program had any right to come to Paul’s grace assemblies and teach Law (whether for salvation unto heaven, or for daily Christian living). Paul and Barnabas were to continue with their Gentile converts under Grace; Peter and the 11 apostles were to stay with Israel’s Little Flock under Law (Galatians 2:7-9). No one would interfere with Paul’s assemblies anymore. Yet, an unbelieving element of Jews had come into Galatia post-Acts-15 to deliberately destroy Paul’s work. Paul, in Galatians, mentions the Acts chapter 15 council in an effort to strengthen his claim that they (the Gentiles in Galatia) were not to be under Law but under Grace. Please see Galatians chapter 2.

“ANOTHER GOSPEL: WHICH IS NOT ANOTHER”

In fact, that false gospel had such an enticing outward form that it looked just like God’s Word. I am quite sure they talked about “Jesus” and “God”—they never used the terms “Satan” or “evil.” That false gospel was not another form of Paul’s Gospel, but rather not Paul’s Gospel at all. The Galatians had embraced “another gospel” in the sense that it was a “perverted” (corrupted) gospel. Because it was perverted, it was “not another gospel.” It was not something that the God of the Bible wanted preached. You can study Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, and you will see that works-religion message is not what God wants preached in the Dispensation of Grace. True, He commanded Israel to keep the Mosaic Law. But, that Dispensation of Law is completely separate and unique from our Dispensation of Grace. God never commanded Gentiles in the Body of Christ to keep the Mosaic Law. In fact, He teaches quite the opposite. We have to go to Paul’s ministry if we are to read the instructions in the Dispensation of the Grace of God (Ephesians 3:2). One of the main themes of Paul’s ministry is, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

“BUT THERE BE SOME THAT TROUBLE YOU”

Friend, medicine will help your physical body, provided you use that medicine as your physician or pharmacist intended. Likewise, the Bible will benefit your spiritual body, provided you use God’s Book as He intended! False teaching—especially the non-rightly-divided Word of God—will “trouble” Christians. It will disrupt their edification (spiritual growth) and disturb them (2 Thessalonians 2:2). Their souls (hearts) and minds will be poisoned. Doubt will enter and the Adversary will greatly use that to his advantage. Just look at the complete spiritual impotency of the professing “church” today!

Satan will use perverted Bible verses to attack and weaken Christians. After all, he used verses from Moses’ Bible books to confuse the Galatians. Moses’ books were Scripture, but not Scripture to or about them. Moses spoke and wrote to Israel, not the Church the Body of Christ. Contrariwise, Paul spoke and wrote to the Church the Body of Christ. Paul was God’s “apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13). Jesus Christ had sent Paul, not Moses, to Gentiles. Jesus Christ had sent Paul, not Moses, to the Galatians.

We must heed the instructions in 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” If we do not use God’s Word, God’s way, we will pollute ourselves and those who hear us teach and preach. We must separate Prophecy from Mystery, Law from Grace, Israel from the Body of Christ, Peter from Paul, and Earth from Heaven. If we do not recognize the need for dispensational Bible study, we will harm ourselves beyond comprehension. If you do not believe me, just look at the Galatians. Just look at today’s “Christian church!”

“AND WOULD PERVERT THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST”

The Gospel of Christ is defined by comparing two verses. Firstly, Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Secondly, 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” The Gospel of Christ is that Israel’s rejected Messiah (Christ in Greek) is now being offered as Saviour to all people. Whether Jew or Gentile, all who “believe in Jesus” (Romans 3:26) are justified—made righteous—in God’s sight. It has absolutely nothing to do with works-religion. Those who say that it does, they are “perverting” (adulterating) the Gospel of Christ. They are pushing Jesus’ crosswork aside and trying to substitute their own “good” works. My, how blasphemous! Their “good” works seem so good, but they are nothing compared to the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus.

“LET HIM BE ACCURSED” WHO “PERVERTS THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST”

The Holy Spirit through Paul issued a very stern warning in the verses following Galatians 1:6-7. We reproduce them for your benefit: “[6] I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: [7] Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. [9] As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. [10] For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

Paul advised the Galatians to cut off all contact with the false teachers who had misled them. (NOTE—Paul also told them to not associate with him if he ever corrupted the Gospel of Christ! He also said that we are not to associate with angelic beings who do not preach the Gospel of Christ!) Those charlatans had come in the name of the “Gospel” and appeared godly, but they were preaching “another Gospel,” one the Apostle Paul had not preached (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4). They were Satan’s ministers (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), and they were to be avoided! Brethren, we would do well to heed this advice even today. There are more false teachers in our day than there were in Galatia 20 centuries ago, so we should be even more cautious!

Galatians chapter 5, in closing: “[7] Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? [8] This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. [9] A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. [10] I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. [11] And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. [12] I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” The Bible says we are to have nothing to do with those who “trouble” us with a (Law-keeping) “gospel” the Apostle Paul did not preach!

Also see:
» We are saved by faith, but are we blessed by works?
» Must I maintain fellowship with God?
» Is grace a “license to sin?”
» Does “once saved, always saved” entitle us to abuse God’s grace?

3 responses to “Is Galatians 1:6-7 contradictory?

  1. Teresa Oglesby

    Thanks so much for helping me see and understand truth On Jun 10, 2016 1:52 AM, “For What Saith the Scriptures?” wrote:

    > Christian ambassador (Shawn Brasseaux) posted: “IS GALATIANS 1:6-7 > CONTRADICTORY? by Shawn Brasseaux “I marvel that ye are so soon removed > from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: > Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert > the gospel ” >

  2. Pingback: Do Isaiah 2:4 and Joel 3:10 contradict each other? | For What Saith the Scriptures?

  3. Pingback: Can you explain Galatians 6:11? | For What Saith the Scriptures?

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