Paul’s letter to the Galatians is straightforward and razor sharp. Most would not consider his approach to be tender and loving. There is a reason for Paul’s no-nonsense approach – the gospel of grace was being perverted. In Galatians 1:6 we find the church turning away. The believers whom Paul was addressing were deserting grace to pursue the legalism taught by the false teachers. Paul regards this teaching as damnable, and will spend the next two chapters defending the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. It is no wonder that Luther, at the dawn of the reformation in Europe, found in Galatians something that resonated in his own soul. He would write of this letter, “The epistle to the Galatians is my epistle. I have betrothed myself to it; it is my wife.” Philip Ryken has said that by trying to base their justification on their sanctification, the Galatians were in danger of exchanging God’s grace in the gospel for performance-based Christianity. But the apostle Paul rightly warned them that any form of works-righteousness is unfriendly, antagonistic and hostile to the good news of salvation, arguing “that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:16). When properly understood, the gracious gospel taught in the book of Galatians liberates us from legalism.
The question for you is: What kind of minister do you sit under? An accursed perverter of grace or a Gospel man?