“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9
Another Gospel? Even Paul admits here there is not another gospel. We know that simple message of good news. Jesus Christ died in accordance with the Scriptures, he was buried, and he rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. That simple message of what Jesus Christ did for His people and that we should believe that message of truth. Putting our faith in Jesus alone for our salvation.
And yet we read here, and Paul was warning the Galatians as there were those who were turning to a different gospel. He uses an important word after he says there really isn’t a different one. That word is distort. There are those who want to distort the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Change it just a little bit. Put some novel ideas into Scripture that make it more palatable to the world today or to let me continue on in my sin.
I cannot tell you how many times I have read or hear Christians quote Scripture that makes me cringe because it is either taken out of context or misapplied or distorted in some way. One that keeps rearing its ugly head are the dispensational teachings that link every news story or now Covid or vaccines to Revelation and the Mark of the Beast or the last days. And that is just the easy example of distorting God’s Word. There are many more.
So how do we avoid distortion of God’s Word in our lives as Christians? I’m glad you asked.
Avail yourselves of the means of grace. What are the means of grace? That is a great question. The means of Grace are God’s Word read and preached, the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and prayer.
So, if you want to know what God’s Word teaches and make sure that you don’t get distorted by false teaching, even the good intended false teaching, make sure that you are in worship every Sunday. There you get those means of grace in a corporate manner and fellowship with other Christians. And on your own during the week don’t neglect God’s Word and prayer. Measure everything you hear by the Word of God. If something sounds a little off, go back to the Bible. Or ask the Pastor or Elders for clarification. I little distortion can led us away from truth. Let us seek to stay on that narrow road that leads to life.