Text:

Θαυμάζω ὅτι οὕτως ταχέως μετατίθεσθε ἀπὸ τοῦ καλέσαντος ὑμᾶς ἐν χάριτι [Χριστοῦ] εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον,

Translation:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting from the one who called you, in the grace of Christ, for another gospel…

Explanation:

Paul begins his argument by expressing his astonishment – his amazement – at the Galatians’ desertion from the one who called them. Moreover, Paul is concerned that this desertion is happening so quickly! Paul reminds them that they were called in grace (χάριτι) which is central to his argument further on. They were deserting the One who called them because they were rejecting the gospel that they had received from him and were turning to another – a different – gospel. A gospel where one is not called by grace alone but one that centred on man’s work. In other words,  in rejecting the gospel they received they were also rejecting Christ.

Implication:

We cannot have it both ways. If we reject the author of the gospel we are at once rejecting the gospel – although this is fairly obvious. Conversely, if we reject the gospel as it was given to us, then we are also rejecting the One who gave it to us! This is the more difficult assertion for most people. Many are happy to have ‘god’ in their lives but are unhappy with the gospel, so they change the gospel to make it more palatable. But to change the gospel, is to reject the gospel. To reject the gospel, is to reject both God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ. So take the gospel as it is, or leave it as it is – but do not seek to change it.

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