“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 gospel of Christ.” Gal 1:6-7
The gospel of Christ seems too good to be true. How could anything so effective in changing our lives require no contribution from us? That’s why so many are tempted to change it into something it is not. But changing the gospel nullifies the very plan of God and exalts man, rather than God. It is no wonder that the Apostle Paul spoke so harshly about those who would seek to change the Gospel into something ineffective, graceless, and humanistic.
The gospel of Christ is the good news concerning what God did about our awful and sinful condition. We are born separated from God because of our sin. We are completely helpless in that condition and can do nothing to change it. The Bible (John 3:18) even goes so far as to say that we are born already judged.
This is why the gospel of Christ is, by definition, the “good news” about Christ. Jesus came to this earth, as a man, to be judged in our place and for our sin. He died a cruel death on that wooden cross to serve out a sentence that was rightfully ours to serve. The gospel also includes the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His death paid for our sins and His resurrection paves the way for our new life. Jesus took care of everything! Today, he offers this changed life as a gift to be received by faith.
As “fishers of men” we must be sure to communicate accurately the gospel of Christ. After receive Christ we naturally want to express our gratitude to Him by serving Him. But it is so easy to begin thinking that this expression of gratitude, which is often demonstrated with works, is also the way to become a recipient of eternal life. Paul later in this letter to the Galatians said, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh?”
So watch yourself and pay attention to the gospel message you share. The gift of eternal life is freely offered to man as a gift to be received, not earned nor deserved. We can only receive it by humbly admitting that we don’t deserve it and are helpless to contribute anything to it. New life is received “by faith and not by works.” (Eph 2:8-9)