What is Contrary to the Gospel?

Stories of Transformation

In my devotional reading of Galatians 1, I came across a powerful affirmation of the discovery process along with a stern warning.

The context is Gal. 1:6-7 (NASB)

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 

Paul is shocked at how quickly the Galatians got off track. The “different” Gospel is “really not another” but what they were taught has been “distorted.” The idea of “distorted” is that it bears some resemblance to the real thing but it has been twisted out of shape. It is no longer a true representation.

With this as background, Paul issues a very strong statement about the need to keep the Gospel pure.

Gal. 1:8-9

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

The typical English understanding of “contrary” is either “different” or “in opposition.” But when you look into the Greek word that is translated “contrary,” it carries the sense of not just different but more than! This means if you add anything to the Gospel, you are in violation.

Considering how strongly Paul responds to this problem (“he is accursed” – repeated!), this is cause for sober reflection and careful evaluation that we do not fall into this trap. The discovery process may not be the complete solution to this problem but it is a very significant protection against intentionally or inadvertently adding anything to the Gospel.

For more on the Discovery process within Disciple Making Movements, check out our Approach page!