Are we distorting the gospel?

I had a thought-provoking time in Galatians recently. Some verses leapt from the page and forced me to ask myself:

Am I believing a different gospel in any way, shape, or form?

Paul is pleading with members of the church of Galatia not to return to a gospel of good works after receiving the gospel of grace from him: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-7)

Notice how the turning away happens. 

The turning away was caused by other people starting to share distortions of the gospel and influencing the believers in Galatia to revert to their prior misunderstandings. Like you, probably, there are people offering new messages to me. Things like deconstruction, progressive Christianity, sides A, B, X and Y Christianity are being discussed, questioned, and analyzed, criticized by some and accepted by others. In these changing times, such discussions must be had! The danger is entering them without being solid about the gospel message.

I had to pause.

I had to recognize how important it is to pay attention to such discussions. On the one hand, Scripture tells us to stay out of needless discussions. Titus 3:9 says: But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. On the other hand, Scripture tells us here that people have the power to influence us away from the gospel of grace. So I had to ask, are some people in my life troubling me and encouraging me to turn to a different gospel?

Such people are to be accursed.

Continuing on in this passage, we learn that people who allow themselves to deviate from the truth and begin to spread a different gospel become accursed: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)

Real life example of distortion.

As I was working on this post during the week, I listened to a podcast. The guest was a military man who has served as an American soldier through many deployments. During the lengthy interview, the guest said something close to this: I am a Christian. When I appear before my God, I will be able to justify the murders I have committed. God will then decide.

Do you hear the distortion? No one deserves heaven. Not him. Not me. Not you. There is no decision going to be made about whether we qualify for heaven or not, except whether we accepted Christ’s payment on the cross for our sin by faith. (Colossians 1:12-14) Yes, to have saving faith automatically results in works (James 2:17-18), but to have any discussions with God about whether any of our actions are the reason for entrance into heaven is to revert to a gospel of works (Ephesians 2:8-9). We only gain entrance into eternal life when we accept that scandalous, illogical gift of forgiveness from God through His Son.

Let’s not spread anything contrary to the pure gospel! 

We want our noses in the pages of our bibles so we don’t distort the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. Salvation comes from faith, not works. We need the wisdom of God to know which current discussions are to be ignored and which we are supposed to join.

Are we distorting the gospel? Let’s hope not!

Picture Explanation: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)

Online study starting June 4!

Speaking of living our short life in the gospel of grace: If you are interested in participating in an online One Gritty Blink Bible study this summer, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity.

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2024 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.


7 Responses

  1. This post is a great reminder for us to stay alert and steadfast in studying God’s Word. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him standing firm in your faith…”. Thank you, Laurie. I definitely want to stay alert!

  2. Thank you so much for this affirming Post. I have used Titus 3:9 a plethora of times when someone wants to argue scripture or fit what the person wants it to fit.

    Love the beautiful pictures and feel blessed to share your thoughts with others. You are spot on❣️

    Happy Trails and Trials during the coming weeks ahead!

  3. Hi, Friend. Thanks for the reminder of the true gospel of salvation by grace. The only justification we have is in Christ.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this link and explanation of your beliefs. While listening to your video I pulled up James 2, which the priest referenced. I agree with him that no one verse can be used. All verses together lead to the truth.

      The way I understand Scripture, good works are evidence of sincere faith, but the works did not earn me favor with God for salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 and James 2:14-17 address both sides of the issue and seem to present the balance when put together.

      These are important issues to talk about. Thank you!

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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