At the moment I am reading through Paul’s letter to the Galatians in my personal devotions, and I’ve been struck by how similar some of this letter is to the chapters of 2 Corinthians that we’ve been reading in church and in our gospel teams (chs 10-13). So for your encouragement, I thought I’d share some of the things that have struck me. First of all…
1. In both 2 Corinthians and Galatians Paul is dealing with false teachers and false teaching.
2 Corinthians 11: 4 For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!
Galatians 1: 6 I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from Him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah.
And because Paul is dealing with false teachers and false teaching…
2. In both 2 Corinthians and Galatians Paul says some very strong things!
2 Corinthians 11: 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their destiny will be according to their works.
Galatians 1: 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! 9 As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!
Galatians 5: 12 I wish those who are disturbing you might also get themselves castrated!
Paul speaks such strong and passionate words, doesn’t he? But it’s clear that he does this ultimately because…
3. In both 2 Corinthians and Galatians Paul cares deeply about the churches – that they stand firm in the one true gospel.
2 Corinthians 11: 2 For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband—to present a pure virgin to Christ.
28 Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my care for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses.
Galatians 4: 9 But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10 You observe special days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am fearful for you, that perhaps my labor for you has been wasted.
19 My children, I am again suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you.
So, what does all of this show us?
1. False teaching was a constant threat for the early church (and still is for us today)!
There always has been, and always will be those who teach falsely about Jesus. Sadly, we shouldn’t expect things to be any other way until Jesus returns! So we need to accept that this will always be the case, and in response…
2. We need to stand firm in the one true gospel.
Just as Paul encourages both the Corinthians and the Galatians to stand firm in the gospel, so we also need to stand firm in the truth of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and the wonderful gift of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone!
2 Corinthians 5: 21 He (the Father) made the One (Jesus) who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Galatians 3: 26 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.