The false Gospel=Idolatry

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 ESV)

As we come to this verse in Galatians, we need to remember what I shared last week “The SOS of the Gospel”.

The reason I did not include in the last post is that this verse is crucial to understand the heart of the False Gospel and its terrible consequences in the lives of people who come under the power of

Paul was astonished that the Galatians deserted, abandoned, the one who called them by Grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let me make three declarations before we get into verse 10, which by the way it is an introduction to what follows chapter one.

So these are the declarations:

  1. A false gospel will lead you to have a distorted identity. You are not free; you are an orphan; you are still a slave.
  2. A false gospel will lead to false worship. This Gospel aims at seeking to please and seek the approval of men and religion.
  3. A false gospel will lead you to Idolatry. This Gospel seeks to worship one’s endeavour, and in trying to please and to find the approval of men, the object of our affection is not God, but something else and that is Idolatry.

In cultic OT and NT, the act of Idolatry has been linked with sexual intimacy. A sexual intimacy that is outside the marriage, and in some cases, it is connected with prostitution. In Corinthians, there were “temple priests”, who were women.

It is, therefore, interesting to understand Paul’s surprise as he disclosed his displeasure with the Galatians saying you have deserted the one who called you by Grace!

The history of the people of God, Israel, was not all that good at times. The nation was called an unfaithful nation. Hosea ‘s wife, a prostitute, was a symbolic picture of the nation, and yet the Lord always loved her. He loved her to come back to him.

The Galatians left the Grace, it seems that they left God for another lover, to come under another lord.

The Gospel is to be received by faith, and it is an act of loving Grace. The Gospel is not to be achieved, because if it is, then it becomes Idolatry.

I want you to be aware that you can be the best Presbyterian, Protestant, even Catholic, you can be a right person, but if you have fallen into the false Gospel that preaches achievements, then you are an Idolater.

It is Idolatry, and you have a try to please and seek the approval of another lover, a lover who is capable of making you a slave. This lover is not Jesus.

When we put our religious traditions, culture, backgrounds, above the Gospel, then we are devaluing the intimacy of the Gospel to an act of adultery.

The Gospel is the revelation of Jesus.

The Gospel is not just us to get saved; it is what sustains our intimacy with the Lord.

I want to say three things to show how effective the Gospel is against the false Gospel.

Let me read to you again verse 10

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 ESV)

Let me point out to you the following by asking:

What is behind the need to seek approval and trying to please men or God?

The fear of rejection.
The emotion of being rejected is a mighty one. This is something we all fear, and I believe this fear of rejection gives birth to all sort of other emotions like anger, isolation, bitterness, resentment, guilt, insecurity. It is the root of depression, anxiety and mental, emotional and spiritual pain.

So here we have the three-point sermon that I want you to remember.

The Gospel, the encounter with Jesus does this to you and me, and what he does is to free us by his Grace. In the Gospel you and I are:

  1. Approved: “God approves of you because of Jesus, his approval is his love”.
  2. Affirmed: “God is pleased with us, because of Jesus, we are in him, he promises never to leave us”.
  3. Accepted: “God says that we are now his sons and daughters, those who believe and accepted Jesus we are God’s children. He is our Father we are received into his presence, because of Jesus.

This is what the Gospel does!

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10 ESV)

Do you see now why the Gospel sustains us for life?

The false Gospel will teach you to please the codes of men and religion.

The false Gospel will try for you to be accepted if you follow the rules, the codes of religion.

  • It will lead to either worship that which you are seeking to approval and seeking to please.
  • It will lead you to self-righteousness, to think of yourself more than you should,
  • It leads to a sense of superiority, looking down your shoulder, above the rest, it leads to racism and separation, it leads to worship our achievements and ultimately ourselves. That is Idolatry.

The Gospel is freedom because Christ has set us free from the need to seek the approval of men and God.

The good servant of Christ is someone who is:

Approved by the Spirit of God
As “Ephesians 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (Ephesians 1:13–14 NIV11-GKE)

Affirmed by the Father
Ephesians 1:14, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

Accepted by Jesus’ merits and work so that you are now part of the Family of God.
“Ephesians 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation.
Jesus is the gap that rejection made between God and man.

The only cure for rejection is that you let yourself be loved by your true Father and accept that he loves you.
That love is found in the Gospel of Grace, you cannot earn it, you only need to receive him, by believing in Jesus as the one who is the bridge to the Father’s love, by repenting, changing your mind.

We have his promises, and we have his word.
“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6 ESV)

Be blessed.

One response to “The false Gospel=Idolatry”

  1. Wow powerful. Thank you!!! The message just got to me about the need to renew our minds in Christ. False Gospel reminds me of the Pharisees and Jews during the time of Jesus who were concerned about religion than Christ Himself. let us not confirm to the principles of the world but rather to Christ the Author of eternal salvation.

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