Why The Gospel Is Important
The apostle Paul never grew weary of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He preached it, wrote about it, and lived it. It was important to him and he wanted it to be important to others. The churches of Galatia desperately needed to be reminded of the importance of the gospel. It was being distorted by certain individuals causing some to desert and fall away from the faith. Paul, armed with the gospel, reminds them about the importance of the one gospel. And what Paul says about it has great meaning for us today. We need to be impressed with the importance of the gospel.
The Gospel - What It Is (Galatians 1:3-4)
The gospel is important because of what it is. The churches of Galatia needed this reminder because of the distorting views that were being spread about the gospel. They needed to know what it is all about. It is about a plan, a person, and a purpose.
The gospel is important because it was planned by God. The death of Jesus was no accident. Paul said it was "according to the will of our God and Father" (Gal. 1:4). Peter said that Jesus was "delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God" and adds that "God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer" (Acts 2:23; 3:18).
The gospel is important because of the person at its center. It is all about the Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that He gave Himself for our sins. Anything that makes Jesus secondary is not the gospel. Anything that ignores His death or treats sin lightly is not of the gospel.
The gospel is important because of its purpose. God planned and Jesus died so that we could be delivered from this present evil age. The purpose of the gospel, then, is rescue and transformation. How thrilling it is to know that I can be rescued from sin! How amazing it is to know that I can live above the standards of this world as a citizen of heaven!
The gospel is important! It was planned by God. It centers on Jesus. Its purpose is righteous and worthy.
The Gospel - Only One (Galatians 1:6-17)
The gospel is important because there is only one. It originated with God and was revealed to Paul. The churches in Galatia were in danger. They were turning to another gospel. What qualifies something as another gospel? If it is contrary to what is revealed then it is another gospel.
Paul wrote these churches to let them know that he didn't invent the gospel. He didn't even learn it from others. God gave it to him. The fact that there is one gospel is important. It means that we have not followed the cunningly devised fables of men (2 Pet. 1:16). It means that there are consequences for preaching another gospel. The gospel is important.
The Gospel - What It Does (Galatians 1:18-24)
Change. That is what happens when one obeys the gospel. Paul mentions the surprise that some had when they learned about his conversion. They were amazed at the change that took place. He went from being a persecutor to a preacher.
There is a change of relationship with God when one obeys the gospel. One goes from being alienated from God to being brought near to Him by the blood of Christ (Eph. 2:11-13). There is also a change in behavior. "Such were some of you" describes the change that takes place (! Cor. 6:11). It is a fitting description for all who have been changed by the gospel.
The gospel is important because of the change it produces. Without this change we would be lost and our behavior would grieve God. The good news, however, reveals that we can be doers of the word and please God in what we do.
The Gospel Is Important
In a world that says it doesn't make a difference what you believe, Paul would say, "don't be deceived." The gospel matters. It matters on a personal level. We must constantly ask "How am I responding to the gospel." Is it important to you? Have you been delivered? Have you deserted the one gospel? Have you changed? Let's be thankful for the one gospel and what it does. It is important!
By Jay Taylor
From Expository Files 15.2; February 2008