Wednesday Bible Study Notes
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Only One Gospel
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
How can anybody say there is only one Gospel when there is so much division within the Christian church? We talk about denominations but our fathers did not speak of denominations; they spoke of confessions of the faith. Denominations focus on social groups like German Lutherans, Swiss Reformed, Irish Catholics. Then the Lutheran, Reformed, Catholic terms were dropped so we are American Christians. Confessions are the content of what is believed. Where the confessions are ignored then there is the resulting situation that the Bible is also ignored in preference for the preacher.
The response God & Paul have to anyone who has “any other gospel” is - be accursed, which means be damned to hell. What other gospels have you heard; from whom? Were they declared as “accursed”?
Here are some of my examples:
Instead of Justification (forgiveness, life, and salvation) by faith alone
The Roman church teaches “faith formed by love”
The liberal Protestant churches teach “deeds not creeds”
The conservative Protestant churches teach “a decision for Christ”
b. Other gospels exist. This is not good.
Call to Apostleship
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
3. The Gospel which was preached to us is also not according to man. We neither received it from man, nor were we taught it (by men), but it came to us through the revelation of Jesus Christ - Holy Scripture.
Contacts at Jerusalem
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) 21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me.
5. How long did it take before Paul went to Jerusalem to meet Peter? How long did Paul remain?
6. What did Paul do during those three years? He preached the Gospel.
Defending the Gospel
2 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me.
7. How long before Paul returned to Jerusalem?
8. What did Paul do during those fourteen years? He preached the Gospel.
9. So, a little over 17 years after Christ’s Ascension brings us to the Jerusalem Council/Synod (Galatians 2, Acts 15) to address the first major division within the Christian church. Should Gentile Christians be circumcised as the Jewish Christians insist? After the council concluded “no” then came the official separation of the disagreeing parties.
Let us close this Bible study by praying the Lord’s Prayer together.