The Apostle Paul and His Letter to the Galatians
Several years ago, when our children were young, my wife and I took them to Fort Snelling in Saint Paul Minnesota. We were running late, so hurried to pay our entrance fee and started running toward the fort. When about 15 feet from the entrance there was this fantastic boom that echoed and echoed and reechoed. Every day the fort fires off the cannon although we had just missed its actual firing, the boom of that cannon still shook us as it were to our bones. We knew the cannon was to be fired, but wasn’t expecting it when it happened.
The book of Galatians is much like a cannon being shot in defense of the Gospel Message and Paul it’s author wastes no time in firing this cannon upon the members of the churches of Galatia. Paul rushed through the preparations to firing this shot in limiting his greeting to only five verses, and then fires the shot in verse six where he writes “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.”
Verse seven continues to echo this thought when he says, “But there are some who trouble you and want to pervert (or distort) the Gospel of Christ. Then following in verse 8 Paul says. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
As if this is not enough and spoken loud enough Paul literally reload the cannon and while the echoes of the first blast still ring in the air, the second blast sounds with a resounding boom in verse nine, “As we have aid before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”
You see, the Galatians were now questioning Paul’s authority and not only his authority to preach the gospel, but questioned also the message of the Gospel. This is why Paul shot a cannon ball across the bow of the Galatian churches. He wanted to shake them up, get them thinking and understand, that the things being introduced to the believers by others, created a condition of life or death. Life to those that remained true and death in forsaking the gospel message for those that accepted or failed to repent of their errant ways.
These false teaches of the gospel came from the very ones that should have known best and that is the Jewish Christians. But it wasn’t just the Jewish teachers from Jerusalem there were also false teacher who had arrived from Antioch. The Gospel message in Galatia was in deep trouble and Paul sought to set the record straight.
Neither should we take challenges to the gospel message laying down. Each challenge to the truth, each false teaching that encroaches upon the gospel should be met with the same zeal as Paul’s cannon shot across the bow of the Galatian churches. The purpose of every true Christian should be as Paul’s when he wrote this letter and that is to set the record straight and adhere to the principles laid out by Jesus and the apostles, who were the spoke-persons on earth for heaven.