Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: A Different Gospel


patternist-2.pngIn Galatians 1:6-7, the apostle Paul wrote, “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.”

I often explain this text by noting what the word “gospel” means. The word literally means “good tidings” or good news. The message of the Christ is good news for mankind. Because of His perfect life, his sacrificial death, and his resurrection from the dead, men have the hope of heaven.

Keeping that in mind, consider this paraphrase of our text. Paul basically is saying, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon to a different good news, which is not good news, but a perversion of the good news.”

The lesson is simple, if someone changes the “good news” or gospel of our Lord, it is no longer good news at all! Why? Because it no longer has the power to save!

The “some” of which Paul speaks were teaching that it was necessary to be circumcised in order to be accepted of God. By binding circumcision they were changing the gospel message to one that no longer was “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (cf. Romans 1:16). They were people who believed in Jesus as the Son of God, and believed every aspect of His life, death and resurrection. And yet their change condemned them, and also condemned those who accepted their teaching (cf. Galatians 1:8-9).

This is an object lesson to all who claim that what we believe and teach does not impact our standing before God. How many times have we heard the sentiment, “It doesn’t matter what you teach, as long as you believe that Christ is your Savior”? Paul writes that such is not the case! As our Lord proclaimed, “And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).

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