Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)Galatians 1:1
Paul makes it clear from the beginning of his epistle to the Galatians that his calling to apostleship came not from men, but from Jesus Christ. That was the heart of Paul, to always preach and teach the pure gospel of Christ without any of man’s traditions corrupting it. As we shall see, Paul comes on strongly against false teachers for the rest of the book of Galatians.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. 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. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.Galatians 1:6-10
Paul states that there is only one true gospel. His expectation was that Christians would HOLD FAST to that gospel of Jesus Christ and not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. That’s the message of the whole Bible, but it is strongly emphasized here in Galatians.
Paul didn’t care who was doing the false preaching. He was no respecter of persons, just like God. He says even if an angel from heaven, even if the most slick, most glamorous preacher with a white smile and smooth words preaches a false gospel, LET HIM BE ACCURSED. There is no toleration for ANYBODY to preach a false gospel message.
He alludes to the fact that preaching a false gospel is done to please men. Elsewhere in Scripture it says that men like to have their ears tickled. They want to hear that they can sin and still go to heaven when they die. It’s a LIE FROM THE DEVIL! Paul stresses that his job is to please God and to persuade men. Paul was faithful to do that up until his death. He kept the faith of Jesus Christ and finished his course well. That’s the challenge for each of us, to follow the footsteps of Christ and Paul and all other faithful Christians.
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.Galatians 1:11-12
Paul states that he’s sure that the gospel he is preaching is not man’s gospel. It came by revelation of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit’s teaching. That is always the best, most pure teaching. One that originates in the heart of God and is shared with man by the Spirit of God. Let us endeavor to spend much time in the Spirit, so that He can reveal the mysteries of God to our hearts. There will be power when we teach those revelations to mankind.
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:Galatians 2:4-6
Where did the false brethren come from? Paul says they came into the church unawares. According to 1 John they used to be faithful brothers but turned from the faith once delivered to them. They stayed in the church and started to preach lies. That’s how they were able to sneak in. They used their formerly good reputation to influence the church with their “new” lies, which in truth are not new, but belong to the devil since the world began.
The Truth sets us free but lies bring us into bondage. Paul (and God, of course) have NO TOLERATION FOR FALSE GOSPELS. Paul gave place to the false teachers FOR NOT ONE SECOND, that the Truth might continue with the flock of God, the church. We must hate false doctrine the same way Paul hated it. Paul was a fine example of a man filled with the Spirit of God: loving God and His Truth and hating sin and unrighteousness.
Paul says that those who SEEM TO BE SOMETHING in reality add nothing to the Truth of God. Beware of people who are always being spoken well of. That’s what Jesus said they did to the false prophets. They have a reputation. In reality, they are using sorcery to seduce the true servants of God. It is Satan that “glorifies” his false teachers, giving them the power that comes with loving the world and not God. Have no tolerance for lies, even if YOUR BEST FRIEND is the one speaking them. We must be God’s friend before any earthly relationship. We must love the Truth before loving anyone else. That is the proper order of things.
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For 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. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, 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?Galatians 2:11-14
Paul earlier said that Peter SEEMED TO BE A PILLAR, that is, a building block in the church of God. It doesn’t really matter what we’ve done in the past, for good or for bad. What matters is how we treat God and others right now. We must always walk in the Truth and not depart from it.
Paul loved the Truth so much that he openly rebuked Peter for being a respecter of persons. James says that if we are a respecter of persons, we commit sin. Paul rebuked Peter before everyone so that everyone could learn this valuable lesson. We must not be afraid to rebuke people openly, even if it costs us a friendship. We must love the Truth and show our brothers and sisters in Christ the true path of righteousness, at all costs.
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?Galatians 3:1
Paul reveals the truth that sorcery is involved when people do not obey the Truth. Satan is the spirit at work in the children of disobedience. The Spirit of God is only present when people walk in the Truth! He is the Spirit of Truth, says Jesus. This is why there must be no toleration for anything that is not of the Truth. If we depart from what God says, we give ourselves over to seducing spirits. Demons are waiting to deceive you and anyone else who will listen to their lies! Demons work through people, whether by influencing them or by outright demonic possession of a person. Oh children, ever walk in the Truth of God!
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?Galatians 4:9
Paul again warns us against turning back to lies. He warns us not to be under the law, because that covenant was for the Old Testament. Now that we have the fulfillment of those things by the life that is in Christ, we have no right to live under the Old Testament, which was a covenant of bondage and condemnation. Christ came to SET US FREE! If the Son shall make you free, you shall be FREE INDEED! Walk after the law of Christ, which is freedom! If something or someone tries to put you into bondage, RUN! Flee for your lives!
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.Galatians 5:1
Paul warns them to STAND FAST in the liberty of Christ and not to return to beliefs that lead into bondage. We have to guard our hearts and minds continually. Be diligent to continue in the things that belong to Christ Jesus! He says if you continue in my Word, then are you my disciples indeed. Love of the Truth is the main thing that determines if one is saved or damned. Reject any false doctrine as you would reject spoiled food. It’s garbage and will cause you much harm. Throw it away!
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.Galatians 5:7-10
Paul wants to know, who hindered you from obeying the Truth? He or she was the minister of satan. God promotes freedom, the devil promotes bondage. Paul warns of the danger of just a little leaven (lies). It leavens the whole lump! That is, sin will ruin our entire life if we let it. Likewise, it will pollute the church of Christ if we tolerate sin as a body. Cancer in one area of the body affects the whole body! False doctrine is deadly. We must avoid it at all costs. If we don’t, it will destroy us.
Paul didn’t care who was teaching bad doctrine. No matter who does it, we know it is the father of lies that is behind it all. When a lie is being spoken, you can be sure he is the author of it. Paul warns that whoever speaks lies will be judged by God. The Lord created us to have Truth on our lips. To take the mouth God created and to speak lies is abomination to Him. Take heed to your mouth, that you are ALWAYS speaking the Truth. We will give an account for every unprofitable word we spoke when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ. This is serious. Take your life in Christ seriously!
And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you.Galatians 5:11-12
Paul jokes that he wishes those who preach the need for natural circumcision would be “cut off” like a foreskin is cut off in circumcision. That’s what we must do with lies. CUT THEM OFF. Don’t let them be in your spirit, which is God’s. God desires truth in the inward parts of your heart! God’s Word is Truth! All other words are unprofitable! CUT THEM OFF.
As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.Galatians 6:12-13
Paul says that false teachers are IN THE FLESH. They are carnally minded. Their mind is not set on things above, where Christ sits in heavenly places. These same false teachers will put you in bondage to the flesh if you listen to their lies. They want to glory in your flesh, they want to make merchandise out of you! They want to use you to feed their pride and lusts. Don’t follow false teachers. If they aren’t preaching the Bible, rightly divided, then AVOID THEM LIKE YOU WOULD HELL.