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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Playing With The Gospel

John Calvin

In Galatians, Paul emphasizes that we must allow no one to bring us a different Gospel than that which he first taught – which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Such heretics must be treated as accursed people. Paul seeks to promote constancy in the faith so that we will not be shaken. This is done with good reason. We know that we are not only fragile, but worse than this, we are vain and rebellious. John Calvin sheds light on 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)

It were better that the whole world should perish and be consumed than that this gospel should be perverted. This is what Paul says about all those who come to trouble us, after we have been so faithfully taught, and of all those who bring us little novelties, mixing in their own inventions here and there — these people turn men from the kingdom of God, and from his royal throne, so that they are no longer governed by him, and thereby the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ is no longer extended to them for their salvation. If God’s honor, and our own salvation, is as dear to us as it ought to be, and if sharing in all the blessings of heaven is precious to us, then whenever we are approached by such scoundrels seeking to detract from the majesty of God, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and even our salvation, ought we not to shun them and cast them out as we would the most deadly plague in the world? This, in short, is what we must do: we must cling with strong affection to the gospel, and not allow anyone to corrupt it in any way. We must not let anybody confuse our minds by their claims to be bringing us an alternative view. Even if the people who speak to us have great knowledge, and are skilful, sharp-witted and very eloquent, we must reject them as abominations, people who have come to draw us away from the purity of the gospel. This is what Paul is teaching us here. (“On Perverting the Gospel of Christ”)

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