Astonishing

Scott Hoezee

Read: Galatians 1:6-10

I am astonished that you are so quickly . . . turning to a different gospel. (v. 6)

Look up Paul’s other twelve letters and notice what comes right after the blessing. Every time Paul offers warm words of thankfulness for the people receiving the letter. Paul heaps on some compliments, praises God for their faith, affirms their partnership in the gospel.

Except in Galatians! No words of thanks here for the Galatian Christians. In their letter Paul cuts right to the chase: he is flabbergasted, astonished, bowled over that the Galatians have so quickly dumped the gospel Paul had preached so as to embrace another message. Paul says that they have turned to a different “gospel” but then immediately says that this is nonsense because there is no other gospel.

He gets even more blunt: if anyone (angels, impressive humans, or even Paul himself in some deranged state) preached a different gospel, then those false preachers must be accursed! The stakes here are too high to mess around with trying to be nice: people who lead others astray from the true gospel must be cursed.

It’s probably something we need to remember today, too. The gospel can get watered down in so many ways. It’s so easy to mix in other ideas, other schemes, other additions to the one true message of the cross. But we must be vigilant. These false ideas cannot be accepted. The stakes are too high. Just ask Paul. —Scott Hoezee

Prayer: Keep us in your pathways of truth always, dear Lord.