About a year after I trusted Christ, my parents called to say they, too, had trusted in Christ. In the months that followed, they grew in their faith through attending church and participating in several Bible study groups. On a visit home, I attended one of their Bible study groups. A good deal of the content was sound, but not all of it. When the teacher advocated water baptism for salvation, I objected and went through the biblical plan of salvation. The response of the teacher was: “Oh yes, we believe that, but just to be sure, one needs to be water baptized.” Tragically, this Bible teacher was feeding my parents doctrine not intended for the Dispensation of Grace.
When Paul writes to the believers in Galatia, he scolds them saying: “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” (Galatians 1:6-7). Like wolves in sheep’s clothing, false teachers had swept in upon these new believers before they were well grounded. They convinced them that a legalistic religious act was necessary for salvation. They had fallen into the same satanic trap Paul warned about in II Corinthians 11:3-4: “But I fear…as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus…another spirit…or another gospel…ye might well bear with him.” In secondary doctrines, believers ought to demonstrate grace and grant liberty to others to see things differently. However, there are key doctrines that are so critical that no believer should listen to any incorrect teaching, not for a minute. The most important of these is salvation by grace alone. Therefore, Paul charges the saints at Galatia to let any teacher be “accursed” who teaches any works for salvation (Galatians 1:8). This concept relates back to Deuteronomy 7:26 when God forbade Israel to bring any object of idol worship into their home. These were an “abomination… a cursed thing…thou shalt utterly detest…and…abhor [avoid] it, for it is a cursed thing.” This principle was so important Paul immediately repeats this command in Galatians 1:9.
Any of us can be swept away from the truth of salvation by grace alone. When it comes to the clarity of the gospel, never put up with what you should put away from you.
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