28/06/20 – Galatians 1:6-9
Galatians 1:6 – I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called (kaleo) you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
marvel – thaumazo (to wonder; wonder at; marvel; to be wondered at; to be held in admiration)
In the following, John wonders with great wondering.
Revelation 17:6 – And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered (thaumazo) with great admiration (thauma).
so – in this manner: thus; so; in this way.
soon – tacheos (quickly; shortly)
removed – metatithemi [to transpose (two things, one of which takes the place of the other); transfer; transfer one’s self; to go or pass over; to fall away or desert from one person to another] It has the idea of one thing being removed so that something else can take its place.
It is translated “turning” in Jude 1:4 – For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. where grace is replaced by lasciviousness.
It can also have the idea of a person being transferred from one place to another.
It is translated “translated” in Hebrews 11:5 – By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
In Galatians 1:6 above, Paul is amazed that the Galatians should remove themselves (turn away) from the gospel of Christ so soon after receiving it, in order to replace it with another gospel.
called – kaleo (to call; call aloud; invite; call by name; give a name to; to be called or bear a name or title among men; to salute one by name) It may be associated with keleuo – to command; to order (from kello – to urge on).
Examples of the use of kaleo:
thou shalt call his name JESUS (Matthew 1:21)
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men (Matthew 2:7)
Out of Egypt have I called my son. (Matthew 2:15)
mending their nets; and he called them. (Matthew 4:21)
for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13)
It can refer to an invitation (for instance, to a feast) but in this case it would be seen as a summons.
Matthew 22:3 – And sent forth his servants to call (kaleo) them that were bidden (kaleo) to the wedding: and they would not come.
bidden means to command, order, or direct (thefreedictionary.com) Thus, to summons those who were required to attend. They could still resist the summons (as noted in the wedding feast parable) if they used their free will to choose to disobey what amounted to an order given to them.
There’s another word sometimes translated as “calling” – kletos (adjective) or its noun form klesis. klesis and kletos are from a “shorter” form of kaleo.
All these words can have similar meanings with slightly different emphases.
kletos is defined by Strongs as [called; invited (to a banquet); invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ; called to (the discharge of) some office; divinely selected and appointed]
Both kaleo and kletos could be translated “to invite” or “to be called”. But, kaleo, while it can mean “to invite” is more associated with an order, directive or command (like a summons to service, or to a feast) and might be resisted by free will, while kletos is more associated with an invitation to an event such as a feast or salvation, and involves more of a free will to choose from options offered.
Matthew 22 :14 – For many are called (kletos), but few [are] chosen (eklektos – picked out; chosen; chosen by God; the elect of God).
Note that “chosen” (eklektos) is an adjective derived from the verb eklegomai (to choose) and both these terms are associated with the noun ekloge (which is translated “the election”). Note the connection between klesis (an invitation; calling) and ekloge (election) in the following:
2 Peter 1:10 – Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling (klesis) and election (ekloge) sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
And it is God’s foreknowledge (prognosis) that determines the consequence of that klesis (invitation to salvation) and then records the saved ones in the ekloge – the election (as listed in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world – Revelation 17:8).
him that called you into the grace of Christ – There are 3 possibilities here: “him” is God, Christ or Paul. (a) It is reasonable to say that God calls us into the grace of Christ through the gospel. (b) However, others say, quite correctly, that “into” could also mean “by” and that this could make “him” either God or Christ. Thus it could be Christ who calls us by His grace. (c) Or is Paul saying that he himself was the one who gave the gospel call to the Galatians.
It is the meaning of “called” that is important here. The word used here (kaleo) would relate to a decree or order while kletos (klesis) would have related to having a free will choice to respond.
So to be called (kaleo) into the grace of Christ would most likely refer to God calling (summoning) a person into fellowship with Christ after that person, by faith, has called upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13).
And one may be called (kletos – invited) to salvation, and then chosen (eklektos), thus indicating the biblical election which is to call upon the name of the Lord and then be chosen for salvation (the election).
and they that are with him [are] called (kletos), and chosen (eklektos), and faithful. (Revelation 17:14) Note the similarity here with Matthew 22:14 above.
another – heteros [the other; another (i.e. one not of the same nature, form, class, kind, different); other]
gospel – euaggelion (a reward for good tidings; good tidings)
unto another gospel – A gospel is supposed to be good news, and yet Paul was declaring their replacement gospel to be perverted (Vs 7 below), not exactly good news! In fact, “unto another gospel” probably belongs to “Which is not another” in the next verse. (The chapter and verse breaks were not in the original but added later to make it easier to better analyse the Bible.)
Thus “unto another gospel: Which is not another” – see next verse for further.
Galatians 1:7 – Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Which is not another (heteros) gospel – Which cannot actually be termed another gospel because it isn’t a gospel (good tidings) at all. Another gospel should still be good tidings, but this has no right to be called good tidings. Only the biblical gospel can be good tidings, for only the biblical gospel can save to the uttermost, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth – Romans 1:16 There is no other gospel at all that can save; no other gospel can make the dead alive again. There is only one gospel (good tidings), so anything else that takes the place of the biblical gospel cannot be declared another gospel, as if there were another way to God apart from salvation in Christ! There is no second gospel! John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
trouble – tarasso [to agitate; trouble; take away calmness of mind; to disquiet; make restless; stir up (trouble); to trouble; to render anxious or distressed; perplex the mind of one by suggesting scruples or doubts]
pervert – metastrepho (to turn around) Metaphorically it seems that it is a twisted or backward version of the gospel. See its use in the following:
Acts 2:20-21 – 20The sun shall be turned (metastrepho) into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
“perverted” is defined as Deviating from what is considered right and correct (thefreedictionary.com)
What you have now, says Paul, is not the biblical gospel, and therefore is no gospel at all, yet there are some among you who will harass and pressure you into an anxiety about whether the gospel that saved you actually saved you. Such people will take away your trust in your decision to trust in Christ by pushing a perverted gospel upon you. These people would mock your salvation and cause you to think that it wasn’t all that you had once believed it to be. Instead of the gospel that saved you, they offer an alternative “better” “gospel”, yet is really a perversion of the gospel that actually saved you. In Galatia this took the form of legalism which taught that without such legalism your salvation was possibly only a part-salvation, or maybe not a salvation at all. The Jews were trying to compel the Gentiles to live like the Jews, following the strict worship rules, including the physical circumcision.
Galatians 2:14b – …. I said unto Peter before [them] all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
The uncircumcised Gentiles were therefore made to feel either only part-saved, or even not saved at all, because this new “better” gospel was a necessary add-on for a full salvation. See Deuteronomy 4:2 – Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
In this fashion many pentecostal churches teach that you cannot be a fully-fledged or genuine Christian if you haven’t been “baptised in the spirit” or “speak in tongues” or “are slain in the spirit” and so on. The biblical gospel is made of little or even no account by these perversions of the gospel (which are actually no gospel at all!).
While Seventh Day Adventists seem to teach a biblical gospel, they condemn all others who do not obey the law as they do. They teach that obedience to the law is necessary to be a proper Christian.
For catholics, the gospel can be preached, yet if you do not attend the catholic church, nor take communion nor confession, then you may be declared anathema.
These gospels have extra requirements laid upon the biblical gospel that saved them, such that non-adherence of the “add-ons” renders their original salvation of lesser value or even null and void.
Some (like many pentecostal churches) remove gospel requirements such that just about anyone can be Christian!
And calvinists do not escape this condemnation. They might make a big show of preaching the biblical gospel, yet if you declare that you were saved because you called upon the name of the Lord, then they have to declare that unless God also chose you to be saved, you are not really saved at all! They have taken the biblical gospel and removed all man’s responsibility for calling upon the name of the Lord, thus making their unconditional election the only gospel in town. They will even tackle those who are assured of their salvation via the sinners’ prayer and undermine that assurance by adding extra requirements to their salvation such as not being saved if you haven’t repented and turned away from all your sin. They teach that because “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20), and because faith is a gift of their calvinist God, then you have no excuse for failing to produce suitable works. If you have no works, then you have no gift of faith and therefore you are not regenerated (born again). Because demonstrated faith is the measure of the elect calvinist, no faith means no eternal life. So a calvinist who doesn’t attend church and does no significant good (“puritan”) works may be declared unsaved. If he had the calvinist God’s gift of faith, it would make him respond favourably to God. He must produce a significant change straight away or else the calvinist God cannot be working in his life to produce those works.
However, faith is not the gift of God that some wrongly think Ephesians 2:8 teaches, but a response of man to God’s promises. The genuine Christian has a testimony of calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13). It is his testimony that he holds to, not his demonstrated faith. He may not at first demonstrate much, if any, works to support his testimony, but should be accepted (on the basis of his testimony) as one who needs to grow in faith and spiritual maturity. If he shows no growth for a long time, then his testimony may be rejected as spurious. But it is his testimony of calling upon the name of the Lord by faith that he must demonstrate by his works, not the alleged gift of faith from the calvinist God. If he is truly saved, he will sooner or later produce a change in his life that can only be attributed to his salvation.
Yet calvinists will still try to cause anxiety (tarasso) about your salvation using verbal gymnastics that are hard to fathom and therefore equally hard to refute. This includes such heresies as telling you that your decision to call upon the name of the Lord undermines God’s sovereignty, and makes you part of your own salvation. They’ll tell you that salvation is all of God and none of man, so your sinners’ prayer is useless unless the calvinist God has chosen you before you prayed that prayer. New Christians are so easily confused by calvinist double-talk, and end up agreeing with them because they don’t know how to deny them. Most of the time they just do not understand what the calvinist is talking about but reason that the calvinist must know what he is talking about (because he says he knows what he is talking about!) and therefore if he (the new Christian) perseveres long enough, he might understand what is being said one day. The new Christian is also told that unless he adds these extras to his beliefs, then he is somehow a lesser Christian, or maybe not saved at all. He simple faith is mocked and he is made to feel anxious for his eternal life unless he should do what the “expert” calvinist advises him to do.
No doubt the Galatians were being hit with similar twisted perversions of the truth. We read in Acts 15:1 – And certain men which came down from Judæa taught the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Paul stood up against Peter over this issue in Antioch.
Galatians 2:11-12 – 11But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
The council of Jerusalem (about 50 AD) met to discuss this serious issue.
Acts 15:23-24; 28-29 – 23And they wrote [letters] by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren [send] greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 24Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled (tarasso – see Galatians 1:7) you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:
28For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;29That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
We know they were reasonably new Christians because Paul says that they are “soon removed …. unto another gospel” (Galatians 1:6). They were probably impressionable and easily persuaded to add extra requirements to their salvation. Like many who become calvinists today, they probably just wanted to be better Christians more quickly, and this desire to be better Christians may have led them to listen to those who promised a higher view of the sovereignty (or authority; justice; etc etc) of God, to come closer to God, by being more obedient to His law. Yet they end up actually turning away from God while thinking all along that they are getting closer to God! Their teachers were probably the Jews who claimed to have all the answers to assist them to become better believers. And because the Jews had the “educated” image, they were listened to. No doubt the Jews offered to mentor these new Christians. They probably knew all the right words to use and were probably skilled in manipulating these new Christians.
Note 2 Peter 2:3 where the false teachers use “feigned words” to teach their heresies, where “feigned” is plastos (moulded; formed, as from clay, wax or stone; feigned) Carefully sculpted statements, words that are very carefully chosen, in order to deceive. Verbal gymnastics at its best!
Galatians 1:8 – But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
But though – or “even if” or “even though” or “even in the case that”
But though we – or “But even if we ourselves”
accursed – anathema (a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; a person or thing doomed to destruction; a curse; a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes)
The catholic church condemned any and all who disagreed with them as anathema.
Anathema, in common usage, is something or someone that is detested or shunned. In its other main usage, it is a formal excommunication. The latter meaning, its ecclesiastical sense, is based on New Testament usage. In the Old Testament, anathema was a creature or object set apart for sacrificial offering and thus removed from ordinary use and destined instead for destruction. (Wikipedia)
There were many reasons given at the Council of Trent (1545 to 1563) for declaring a person anathema. They included:
If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law were not all instituted by Jesus Christ, our Lord; or, that they are more, or less, than seven, to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Order, and Matrimony; or even that any one of these seven is not truly and properly a sacrament; let him be anathema.
If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema. (Wikipedia)
The Catholic Encyclopedia declared all who broke church rules to be anathema.
Anathema remains a major excommunication which is to be promulgated with great solemnity. A formula for this ceremony was drawn up by Pope Zachary (741-52) in the chapter Debent duodecim sacerdotes, Cause xi, quest. iii. The Roman Pontifical reproduces it in the chapter Ordo excommunicandi et absolvendi, distinguishing three sorts of excommunication: minor excommunication, formerly incurred by a person holding communication with anyone under the ban of excommunication; major excommunication, pronounced by the Pope in reading a sentence; and anathema, or the penalty incurred by crimes of the gravest order, and solemnly promulgated by the Pope. In passing this sentence, the pontiff is vested in amice, stole, and a violet cope, wearing his mitre, and assisted by twelve priests clad in their surplices and holding lighted candles. He takes his seat in front of the altar or in some other suitable place, amid pronounces the formula of anathema which ends with these words: "Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of the Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive N-- himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance and satisfy the Church; we deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgment." (Catholic Encyclopedia)
Galatians 1:8 above has a strong emphasis on even if the impossible occurs, that even if people like Paul or even one of God’s angels from heaven were to preach such a perverted gospel, let him be accursed (anathema)! It doesn’t matter who you are or how well connected you are to the right people, if you aren’t preaching the biblical gospel, then you are “anathema”! Paul says that he has preached the true gospel to them, so if anyone else preaches something different, then let them be accursed (anathema)!
Galatians 1:9 – As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
In fact (as he has already said so clearly to them) Paul repeats his warning: If any person preaches any other gospel other than the one that they had originally received (through the preaching of Paul – Galatians 1:11) then that person is anathema (accursed, doomed to destruction in the judgment). There is only one gospel, and no other! The true gospel required that they call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. There was an expectation that once they had done so, they were then required to go further (Hebrews 6:1-3), such as taking up their crosses daily and following Jesus (Luke 9:23), but this was part of being one of God’s people, and not part of the initial requirement for justification itself. It was expected that once you were saved, you would endeavour to obey God, but calling upon the name of the Lord in faith was sufficient to cause God to honour His promise to save you to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25) and to place your name in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8).
Note added extras such as the golden calf in the desert, and Israel’s false-god worship which was added by Israel to their worship of God. Israel didn’t actually reject God; they merely added extra worship to their worship of God. God likened it to spiritual adultery, where His people Israel (whom God likened to His wife) ran off committing adultery with all the false gods, and then came back to worship God when required. See Jeremiah 31:32; Hosea 2:7)
So what is the biblical gospel that Paul is so adamant is the only gospel and no other? Calvinists deny the sinners’ prayer, yet it is impossible to see how people can call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13) if they cannot pray in any way.
And what about Luke 18:13-14a – 13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other:
Even Calvin acknowledges that such a prayer can justify a person. He was justified, therefore, ……. by gratuitous acquittal on the part of God. (Institutes, Bk 3, Ch 11, Section 3)
Calvinists also deny man any freedom of will to choose to accept the gift of eternal life offered by God in Romans 6:23. Yet a gift must be fully paid for before it may be offered, and no payment can be required for the acceptance of a gift or else it is an imposition instead, or even a payment for services rendered. The calvinist God imposes his election upon people who are not permitted to reject it. The calvinist God does not offer any gifts at all!
Thus we can state clearly that the biblical gospel involves a sinner’s prayer of some sort in accepting the offer of the gift of eternal life as a consequence of salvation. And gift must be accepted or else it is refused.
So let’s take a look at the process of biblical salvation.
1/. The word of the gospel (as per the Bible) is preached to sinners. Unless they hear the gospel, sinners have no way of knowing what God says about their sinful position. How can anyone believe that which they do not know?
Romans 10:14-15 – 14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
It is why satan tries so hard to stop people from hearing the gospel because it is the light of understanding to those who are yet in darkness.
2 Corinthians 4:3-5 – 3But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2/. The biblical gospel will achieve that purpose for which it is sent: to tell sinners that they need to be saved. When sinners hear the biblical gospel, they will know what it means, for God has promised that His word will achieve what it was sent to do.
Isaiah 55:11 – So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.
3/. The gospel challenges sinners to decide what they will do with it. God commands all men everywhere to repent.
Acts 17:30-31 – 30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men], in that he hath raised him from the dead.
4/. Man has the choice to obey and repent or to disobey and reject the gospel message, and to do so while there is yet time.
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 – 1We then, [as] workers together [with him], beseech [you] also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)
Isaiah 55:6-7 – 6Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
5/. The message is that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23); that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23) but God offers the gift of free salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). All it requires is to have faith in the character of God who promises so great salvation (Hebrews 2:3). This means either believing God’s gospel (and therefore accepting it) or not believing it (and therefore rejecting it).
6/. If someone has faith in the truth of the biblical gospel as spoken by God, then he will believe the gospel, that Jesus died and rose again to save man from his sins. He now must do something about it or else he will remain a sinner.
John 3:18 – He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(It does beg the question: If calvinists must be regenerated (born again) before they can believe, does that mean that they are still lost and heading for hell until they hear the gospel and believe in Christ and be saved??)
7/. The one who believes will experience godly sorrow which causes him to repent which then leads to salvation in Christ (For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation – 2 Corinthians 7:10).
And here’s the biblical gospel in a nutshell. Note very carefully that it fails to mention the calvinist lie that only those whom the calvinist God chose can be saved. Instead it makes clear that whosoever that calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. “Whosoever”!! Anyone, not just the chosen calvinists!
Romans 10:8-15; 17 – 8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
17So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
While the Christian now must commit himself to God and grow in Christ, this above is the basic gospel to which nothing shall be added, nor taken away from. It is clear that the Galatians used the law to assess the effectiveness of the gospel in the Gentile converts; thus the law became an add-on to the biblical gospel.
To Messages and Teachings page
List of all my posts on this site
Hoppers Crossing Christian Church homepage