In our day and age not many people are concerned about truth especially when it comes to doctrine. Doctrine is seen as impersonal and a division causer. But this is a false notion because the gospel is the very personal news of God’s call to you and if you turn to a different gospel you are personally turning away from God. Paul establishes in vs. 7 that there is only one gospel and if any one turns away from that gospel they are really turning away from God. Therefore there is only one gospel which Paul himself preached and this is the only gospel which saves.
Paul throughout his Life was always concerned about upholding the truth of the gospel and he always feared the propagation of false doctrines and I hope that you have the same fear in you. When Paul was leaving Ephesus he said to the believers (Acts:20:29-30) “For I know this, that after my departing, grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears”. This is a remarkable concern from Paul and it is a shame to our modern churches that such concerns for truth in teaching is not equally upheld. The sadness of false teachings is that it ultimately leads people to hell - it leads them to forsake the God who has called them because now they have rejected the gospel which saves them.
It should not surprise us if we find in many churches many false teachings because they care nothing for the truth and in their delusion and excitements they continue to live under a curse because they have forsaken the truth to believe a lie. John Piper writes that “There is a tragic pattern in churches and in history, I think. Renewal breaks forth on a church or on an age through a fresh encounter with the gospel and the Spirit. Hearts are filled with the love of Christ, and mouths are filled with praise. The concern for evangelism and justice rises. But in all the glorious stirrings of heart there begins to be an impatience with doctrinal refinements. Clear doctrine requires thought, and thought is seen to be the enemy of feeling, so it is resisted. There is the widespread sense that the Holy Spirit will guard the church from all error, and so rigorous study and thought about the gospel are felt to be not only a threat to joy but a failure of faith. The result over a generation is the emergence of a people whose understanding of biblical teaching is so hazy and imprecise that they are sitting ducks for the Galatian heresy”. Are you living under a false gospel?
The devil is a liar and he loves deceit and he appears as an angel of light. He has his own disciples in the church because the best way to lead people to hell is by distorting the true gospel. This is a reality and some in the church because of their itching ears are quick to believe any wave of doctrine especially those who appear to perform supernatural miracles. This is equally true of those who monopolize rationalism and intellectual superiority. Paul writes to the Thessalonians that “the coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved”. Jesus gives the same warning alerting His disciples that “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect”, Matthew 24:24. You can avoid their deception by "standing firm and holding fast to the teachings we passed on to you (now revealed in the bible) whether by word or by letter", Thessalonians 2:15.
False teachers and false gospels are a reality in our churches and here is Paul’s indictment on those who preach such falseness. “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”, Galatians 1:8-9.
It is an awful thing to call out a curse on an angel of God but such is the seriousness of the truth of the gospel that even angels are no exceptions to such a damnation if they should dare to distort the gospel of Christ. It is important to uphold the truth of the gospel because it is the only avenue by which sinners may be saved, it is the only avenue that glorifies Christ and upholds all of the sufficiency of His cross.
But it is with a caution and warning that there are souls out there who fail to distinguish between the gospel which is of first importance and secondary issues which are mere trivialities. So I will beseech you to have a right Spirit within you, to rightly divide truth from error and to have a spirit of grace in you when confronting errors because Paul himself aimed to edify and to lead back the wandering sheep of Christ.
Truth is important and because there is only one Gospel it is crucial that the right gospel is preached and that also you are believing in the true Gospel which Christ preached and the Apostles preached. This gospel is preserved for us in the Bible; that book which contains God’s truth and which leads us to the WORD eternal.
Peace and grace be with you from now to all of eternity.
* I know that the content of what the gospel is is not revealed here in this post. I have written of that else where or I have posted what others have said elsewhere on this blog.
*John Piper - http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/when-not-to-believe-an-angel