We should fall before the majesty of our great God and acknowledge our faults. Repentance will grow and increase our faith. The Lord Jesus Christ gave himself for our redemption. May we be led by Him to persevere in the truth of His Word and doctrine. May we glory in nothing other than the salvation which he has purchased for us. John Calvin carries this thought to the ultimate conclusion as he explains the following verses:
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:6-8)
Because Paul speaks in such bold language in defence of his teaching, this should make it all the more genuine to us. He does not speak with human arrogance or presumption, but in the name of God. Indeed, there is no question here of his boasting about himself; he proves this by saying, ‘if I’. He puts himself first, as if he is saying: ‘Even I myself, if I change my doctrine, or if you find I have swerved in any way, let me be regarded as a devil.’ Here, Paul is showing that he was not seeking to gain a reputation for himself, nor was he fighting for his own cause, so that people would say how intelligent, wise and gifted he was. No; he puts himself on the level of all believers and says: ‘Let us all embrace the whole of our Master’s teaching, which God has entrusted to us, and to which we must submit our conduct. For although I have taught you this doctrine, yet it is not mine, but it is of God, who never changes. If I change, do not be shaken, nor surprised about this, but treat me as a devil, count me accursed. As for yourselves, remain grounded in the truth that you have always known. I would rather you saw me as accursed and abominable, and even the angels from heaven also, than that you forsake the truth about the Son of God and turn away from it.’ We can see from this what Paul desired: that God’s truth should be revered amongst men, as it deserves to be, and that it should be esteemed in such a way, that all our senses, thoughts, desires and affections should be subdued and held captive to it. It is not lawful for any living creature to change anything in the gospel, for God has spoken by the mouth of his only Son. May he be our master indeed, and may each of us obey him without question. This is what Paul desired.
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