Key Verse: Gal 1:8
I. What Is the True Gospel?
A. The "good news," euaggélion, is for all (John 1:12; 3:16; 1 Tim 4:10; 1 John 2:2).
B. It is good news because it offers us what we need — grace, undeserved favor — and not what we deserve. Twice the word grace is mentioned in this passage (Gal 1:3,6).
C. Christ offers this grace, not as a mere man, but as an equal with God. Notice verse three, "Grace be to you, and peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ." He is not presented here as Savior only, but also as Lord. If He is not received as Lord, neither can He be received as Savior.
D. It is good news because it gives us peace. When we appropriate the grace which comes from God the Father and the Lord Jesus, we experience reconciliation with God and the resulting peace brings abundant harmony.
II. The Gospel Signifies What Christ Did for Us
A. "Who gave himself for our sins" (Gal 1:4). Christ’s gift was both voluntary and undeserved. It cannot become ours, however, until we confess our sinfulness (Matt 3:2; Rom 3:23; 1 John 1:9) and turn to Christ for salvation (Acts 2:38; Rom 10:9,10).
B. When we trust Him, Christ delivers us from this present evil world (Gal 1:4). Exéletai, "that He might deliver us," is derived from the preposition ek or ex, "out of," and airéœ, "to take." It is in the subjunctive aorist, indicating a definite act of rescue. In spite of the fact that we, as salt and light (Matt 5:13,14; John 17:6-16), still remain in the world, Christ removes its evil influence from us.
III. What Is a False Gospel?
A. Any teaching about Christ that denies the following basic facts is "another gospel" (Gal 1:6):
1. ". . . Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:3).
2. "He was buried, and . . . rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:4).
3. "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?" (1 John 2:22). It is a false gospel when it is based only on the humanity of Jesus. The Lord Jesus must be believed in as the God-Man.
B. Any belief which suggests works to be the means of salvation is not the gospel. By faith we receive what Christ accomplished for us as a gracious gift (Rom 5:1; 10:17; Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8,9).
C. Finally, a "gospel" which does not produce a changed life is false (James 1:22; 2:14,17,18). There must be a transformation in the life of the one believing the gospel, or else that gospel is héteron, "another of a different kind" (Gal 1:6), and not állos, "another" which could qualify as the gospel. A believer in the true gospel becomes alienated from the world system (John 15:18-25; 17:14; 1 John 2:15; 3:13) while demonstrating the love of God to all those around (1 John 3:10,14,23; 4:7,8,11,12,19-21; 5:2).