17 July 2009

deserting him who called you...

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10)
The temptation try to increase our acceptability before God and men is intense and only chased away by the Gospel. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, that believes righteousness is given to the best of us even though all have sinned. Even a little of this leaven works through the whole lump (Gal. 5:9).

If you feel better (or worse) about yourself because of your:
  • self-discipline
  • kids
  • marriage
  • home
  • doctrine
  • job
  • lifestyle
  • car
  • carbon footprint
  • child's education
  • denomination
  • politics
  • diet
  • budget
  • giving
then you are embracing a righteousness that is not from faith in Christ and is, therefore, incomplete (Romans 3:21-22). "Comparative righteousness" deserts Christ and the complete righteousness imparted by grace through his perfect life and death (2 Cor 5:21, Galatians 1:6 and 5:3-4). To believe that you add anything to Christ's righteousness minimizes sin, the holiness of God, and, indeed, Christ himself.

The glory of the Gospel is that every purchased child of God stands on equal footing with the apostles (2 Peter 1:1) because their righteousness has been given, not earned. Woe to anything that changes this, our only hope, in any way (Matthew 23).


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