1:6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 1:7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 1:9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
Distort the gospel – After a relatively short introduction (1:1-5), compared to some of his other letters, Paul gets right down to business and immediately expresses his disappointment in the Galatian Christians for accepting a distorted gospel. It will be important to find out in what way the gospel was distorted.
Accursed – Galatians is the angriest of all of Paul’s letters, which means that we are dealing here with a most dangerous distortion of the gospel. This “different gospel” (1:6), which was “contrary to what we have preached to you” (1:8) and “contrary to what you received” (1:9), distorted the truth of the gospel (1:7; 2:5, 14), and may result in eternal loss:
- Did you suffer so many things in vain (3:4)?
- I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain (4:11).
- Christ will be of no benefit to you (5:2).
Paul normally starts his letters with words of praise or thanks to the churches he is writing to. Paul even gave praise to the carnal Christians at Corinth. But in this letter he does not do it, probably because he is disappointed in them for swallowing a false doctrine.