GRACE: NOT BY MAN
So Soon Removed from Him – Galations 1:6
Paul the apostle took great care to address the matter of grace. Grace is all of God and none of man; no work of man. So Paul addresses the issue as desertion – in a military sense – and in that day a deserter was worthy of death.
Verse 6 – “I marvel that ye are so soon removed” The ESV has it, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him…” It had been a fairly short time since Paul had saw many of these saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, and already the legalist had come in perverting the gospel, teaching “another gospel” a different gospel. Now he is alarmed by their desertion of the gospel.
When works – be it circumcision, baptism, confession or confessional, catechism, or doing of any or all “good works” – is added to grace; grace is no more grace (Romans 11:6). The idea of “another gospel” tells us that this was not an area over which Christians can legitimately disagree. There is only one gospel of Christ, and it is the gospel of grace alone – the work of God. To desert the gospel of Christ and believe a “perverted” gospel is to remove from Christ.
When it comes to grace Paul leaves no room for a grace debate among Christians. To add anything to grace perverts grace.
Verse 7 – “Which is not another” Paul was being clear that there is no other gospel. The gospel is the good news that God alone has provided a way to Himself. There is only one true gospel.
There are many professing Christians who agree that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose bodily from the dead, but trusting the finished work of Christ alone is not enough. According to some, maintaining good works, keeps one saved.
Eloquent speakers can often come in and with great powers of persuasion move others; with their fine words; to desertion. These would come in agitating, causing doubt, and the power of the gospel of Christ to save.
Verses 8 – 9 — Paul even says, “Though we… preach any other gospel… let him be accursed.” And, “…Or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
It is interesting that Paul would mention “an angel”, because about eighteen hundred to nineteen hundred years later Joseph Smith would tell of his having an encounter with an angel named Moroni telling him that the church of Jesus Christ was perverted, he was to begin anew the work of Christ, and the angel told him where to find some “Golden plates” which later would become the “Book of Mormon”.
“Accursed” is the Greek word “Anathama” (1 Corinthians 16:22). One set aside for judgment; a person or thing doomed for destruction.
Grace is a work of God and Christ alone; plus nothing, take away nothing. It is the undeserved, unmerited favor of God. A free gift to all who believe.
-Tim A. Blankenship