The Limits of Our Authorization

We have been authorized to proclaim the gospel. We have not been authorized to amend it. The apostle Paul reserved his most stinging rebuke for anyone who dared to mess with the gospel. “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” (Gal. 1:1-9).

This is the most blistering denunciation found in any of Paul’s letters. He says it twice for double emphasis. And he makes no exemptions. Allow me to paraphrase but remain true to the text. “I don’t care who it is,” Paul was saying. “Even if I come at a later date with some distortion to the gospel you have received from me, let me be under God’s curse! Not only that, I don’t care if it’s an angel, not a fallen angel but an angel straight from heaven, if he carries a message that distorts the gospel you have received, let the angel be under God’s curse!” Tough words but Paul knew God Himself had his back.

I’d say that’s Exhibit A of how tenacious we need to be in protecting the gospel of Jesus Christ. Talk about a deep sense of stewardship, Paul knew he was entrusted with the gospel. Its purity and simplicity must be guarded at all costs. Now we too are entrusted with the gospel. It is our privilege and holy duty to both protect it and proclaim it. The reputation of the gospel is more important than any man’s reputation.

Don’t mess with the gospel – or Paul has a message for you.