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.
There is one gospel. It is the gospel of the grace of Christ. It is the too-good-to-be-true news that Jesus did a finished work, forever purged our sins, and freed us from the chains of sin and religious legalism. Grace is immeasurably radical because it means that we are fully righteous before God apart from any efforts of our own. It is completely, 100% about Jesus!
This truth causes religious-minded people unending consternation and frustration. They just can’t adjust to the idea that relating to God is no longer about rules and regulations. This perspective is not always about judging others; often, it is about judging ourselves. We need our minds to be renewed because much of the legalism that we experience occurs in our thinking. When Jesus experienced anger, it was at religion. When He confronted challengers and experienced backlash, religious people were at the root. In today’s passage, Paul refers to the same type of people when he speaks of those “who trouble you and seek to pervert the gospel of Christ.” These aren’t people who don’t believe in God. They just believe that what Jesus did wasn’t enough and that our performance is still what matters in relating to God.
Religiosity is all about pleasing people. We make religious rules and then measure those around us in order to feel good about ourselves at their expense. Paul’s warning to the Galatians is not to fall back into that destructive trap. Stay in grace! Remain at rest in the finished work of Jesus! Even if an angel tries to tell you different, don’t listen!
Paul explains in verse 10 that pursuing grace isn’t going to please men. If he wanted to please men, he would have stayed in the religious system he was raised in. By choosing to go all in for Jesus, we choose to ignore the protests of religion, both internally and externally. Braving grace requires the boldness to shake off man-made judgement and stand firm in Jesus. As you go into your day, go with the joy and peace that comes from focusing only on Him!