Read Galatians 1:6-12
6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
10Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
11I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (NIV)
Paul gets right into the purpose of his letter which is what Gospel teaching are we following. Here is what William Barclay said of this: “Paul’s Gospel was a gospel of free grace. He believed with all his heart that nothing a [person] could do could ever win the favor of God. He believed passionately that no one could ever earn the love of God. He therefore believed that all that was left for a [person] to do was to fling [oneself] on the love and mercy of God in one great act of faith. He believed that all that a [person] could do was to take in the wondering gratitude what God offers; and that the important thing was not what we could do for ourselves but what God had do for us.”
I like that image that with God, we are simply to be surrounded by God’s grace and accept that grace. It can be uncomfortable at times knowing that we really don’t deserve this kind of love, but it is there for us to take hold of.
The argument that seems to be put forth is that others followed Paul and told the people that Paul was wrong – that Paul was trying to make faith “easy” in order to be like by people and that one must adhere to all the Jewish laws and regulations to find favor with God. Paul counters this logic over and over again with the cross of Christ. In the cross, Paul is saying, “look at how much God loves you. He did this for you before you ever heard of him. He loved first and unconditionally. This is the God who we accept love from, not earn it.
We see that Paul is addressing the argument that he simply wants to be liked by people. He argues that what he preaches is not to please humanity, but to please God. It is the Gospel that was revealed to him directly from Jesus Christ as he persecuted the church. Paul will develop that thought in the next section.
The question for us is do we accept God’s love for us freely? Are there times that God’s love is uncomfortable because we feel we must do something to earn it? How does one just be loved and go through life knowing that there is a love that will always be there for them, no matter what decisions they make? Is that a love you want today?
Blessings and Peace