Galatians 1:11-12 – For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Our three sons are sneakerheads. For years, they have bought and sold sneakers – mainly the kind of old school Jordans that were popular when I was in high school back in the Antediluvian age when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Over the years, my sons have gotten remarkably adept at spotting the endless supply of fake sneakers that have flooded the market. Things as small as a tag, kind of stitching, or glue reveals the crafty counterfeit.
Anything valuable is counterfeited. Nothing is as valuable as the gospel of Jesus Christ created by God. So, it’s not surprising that Satan counterfeits it. This is the conflict in Galatians. Paul brought the real gospel, people met Jesus, a church was planted, and Paul moved on to his next ministry assignment. In his absence, false teachers showed up peddling a false gospel.
Just like my sons learned how to spot fake Jordans by getting familiar with genuine Jordans, so too it is vital for God’s people to become so familiar with the real gospel that they can spot the knock-offs in culture and religion.
1) You have a problem. You need to stop denying that you are a good person and accept that there is a selfishness and sinfulness in your nature that is a problem to God.
2) You are the problem. You can stop blaming everyone else (parents, culture, the media) and everything else (personality, genetics, a political party).
3) There is a solution. You don’t have to live in the common malaise of hopeless despair where there is no One to help save you from you.
4) You are not the solution. You can flush self-help nonsense because you are the problem and therefore cannot be the solution in the same way that you cannot cure cancer with cancer or clean up mud with mud.
5) Jesus is the solution to your problem. You can stop looking into yourself, or out to the world, for hope, help, and healing and start looking up to Jesus who came down to die for your sin, rose to make His victory yours, and is seated in a Kingdom right now looking for people like you to save and serve.
6) You are not an orphan. You are not a random evolutionary accident here for no reason and going nowhere when you die. There is a Father who loves you, and though you have run away from Home, the Son of God came to introduce you to the Dad you never knew who has only good planned for you.
This is the heart of the real gospel and anything else is a counterfeit and cheap knockoff. Does this real gospel sound like good news? That’s exactly what the word “gospel” means in the Bible – in a world filled with bad news, God has good news!
Which of the six points do you find most difficult to believe? Why?