The Real Thing
July 7, 2010 • By Ed Wrather
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. 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. - Galatians 1:6-9 NKJV.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. - Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV.
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. - Titus 3:5 NKJV.
In Frankfurt, Germany, a wannabe smuggler was stopped with what appeared to be a huge “blood diamond” from Angola. If real, it would have been worth more than $3.3 million dollars; but it was examined, and found to be only a good fake worth about $27 dollars. The man carrying the fake diamond was actually disappointed that he was not arrested for smuggling, because he apparently had paid a fortune for it.
There are not only fake things, there are also fake people. This morning I noticed a story about a young woman who had an online relationship with someone for a couple of years. She was in love, until her parents discovered the identity of the person was actually her best friend, a woman. Then, she was angry and heartbroken. It is a problem with some groups on Facebook that people create false profiles and join the group attempting to have members visit their websites once they become their online friends. There is also a proliferation of hackers cloning your friends profiles on Facebook and then friending you.
The Galatians had a problem with fakery too. The apostle Paul points out the problem in his letter to the Galatians. The problem began when those called Judaizers came and began spreading their false teaching. Basically, the Judaizers taught that in order to have salvation you still had to keep all of the Old Testament Laws including being circumcised. Paul says clearly that this is a fake gospel. In Ephesians 2:8-10 it is clear that there is not a requirement to be circumcised prior to receiving the gift of eternal life. Also, there is no requirement that all of the commandments be kept perfectly prior to receiving the gift of eternal life. Paul uses a very strong word in his condemnation of those trying to pervert the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He says they should be “accursed.” I believe Paul would say the same thing to those today who try to add in works as a requirement for having the gift of God, eternal life.
Have you been deceived by the Judaizers of today into thinking that you have to be a perfect person before you can have Jesus as your Savior? One of my friends when I attempted to share Jesus with him said that he could never be good enough to go to Heaven. He was a member of a church that taught a works based salvation. He never went to church because he didn't think that he could ever be good enough. It is a false teaching, because not only does Paul say that it is, but also the apostle John indicates that it is when he writes in 1 John 5:13, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” If you are working your way to Heaven you can never “know” whether you have done enough or not. John says you can “know” that you have eternal life.
Do you “know” that you have eternal life, or have you fallen for one of those fake gospels that the apostle Paul warns about?