«I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ» (Galatians 1:6, 7, NIV).
PAUL ALWAYS EXPRESSED himself with joy and gratitude. However, this time, he was surprised that in a short time, some Galatians had abandoned grace and given up the gospel in order to accept false teachers. This was not a variation of the gospel; it was something entirely different. Fake dollars are not dollars even if they are called dollars.
The gospel had freed them from the bondage of sin, leading them to peace, and they gave up such a blessing in order to follow whom? To accept what? To follow Judaizers and incorporate legalism? The Judaizers tried to discredit the message and the messenger in order to achieve their purpose. They accepted the grace of Christ, but they wanted to «improve it» so that it might be more spiritual and superior.
In the beginning, it was just an addition of rules, rites, and ceremonies, but in time, the addition became the only thing, minimizing the gospel to a series of legalistic rules that reduced the Christian faith to purely formal aspects of religious observances, practices, and obligations.
Nothing needs to be—nor can be—added to the gospel; it is already perfect and does not need to be improved. Either Christ and His grace are sufficient, or they are not. There is no middle road. They claimed to improve grace by elevating the law, and what they managed to do was invalidate the grace of the Lord.
In January 2020, the world was surprised that Meghan and Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, decided to leave the British royal family. They have their reasons, but it never ceases to be intriguing that people find reasons to give up their royalty and lose a plethora of benefits, honors, recognitions, properties, resources, and so many other privileges.
However, sometimes we try to step aside as members of the heavenly royal family so we can be independent and live by and for ourselves. It is not necessary to go to England or Galatia to find many who inexplicably give up the royalty of the gospel and set aside their royal membership, with all its honors and blessings.
What is even more puzzling is that they leave royalty to follow the baseness of claiming to be saved by the sum of their merits and works.
«The greatest enemy of souls is self-worship, which makes man seek salvation in himself» (Spurgeon).
We are members of the heavenly royal family. Let us not give up our membership, because «how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?» (Heb. 2:3)