Bible Reading: Galatians 1
There’s a story of a young village girl who went visiting a more prosperous relative in the city. When it was time for breakfast, the host in her kindness felt the girl could do with a treat. She decided she would add a generous dose of milk to some pap for the child. Big mistake. The poor girl just stared heartbroken at the bowl and wouldn’t eat. Aunty had gone and spoilt the food completely. She went and added milk to pap.
Honestly, I can relate. Because we all have that one ‘don’t spoil it’ food. That food you don’t want to add anything to, so you can enjoy it for all its qualities. The bread you prefer to eat alone. The plantain you pick out of the rice so you can enjoy it well. That egg white you carefully bite off so it doesn’t interfere with your enjoyment of the yolk. The sharwarma you open so you can eat the sausage…
The truth is, in adding to a thing, sometimes we’re actually reducing all we could have gotten from it.
This is why I can completely understand Paul’s vexation with the Galatians as we see in our reading today. He doesn’t even pause at the start of his letter to give any preamble except a quick intro. There’s no “I thank my God for you…”, or “When I think of you I pray…”. nothing! Ah, Paul is not joking here. Like the little girl and her pap, we see a Paul very desperate to keep the Gospel he has received totally and absolutely unspoiled.
And I believe our reading today shows us why.
The Gospel is God’s power to transform lives!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not some weak theory or feel-good philosophy! It is God’s power to transform the human life from hopeless deadness to everlasting life-beyond-your-wildest-imagination! And who else would know if not Paul?! I mean, Paul was the guy hunting down believers to kill them. He was the one securing the clothes of those who stoned an innocent man to death because the man spoke up about Jesus. Now this same Paul is willing to die for the same Jesus??? Talk about the mind-blowing, earth-shattering, eternity-altering, reality-changing power of the Gospel!
“…I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” – Romans 1:16
Unfortunately, we live in a very deceptive age. All sorts of philosophies are thrown around in humanity’s desperate search for life and wholeness. But don’t get it twisted. There is only one antidote to the hopeless human condition: Believing the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sin and was raised back to life so we can have eternal life. Humanity’s ONLY hope is Jesus Christ!
The power of the Gospel is the Gospel!
You know how our well-meaning Aunty ruined the little girl’s breakfast because she felt adding something would make it better? I feel like sometimes believers feel a need to ‘help’ the Gospel by spicing it a little. It’s easier to talk about how my needs can be met in Jesus than how I can be set free from a life of sin. It’s easier to slip in a vague mention of Jesus in a whole paragraph on how to achieve your dream than to declare that Jesus died so you can have the right dream. It is easier to invite a friend to church or encourage someone to join a life group so they can meet people and network than to confidently say you know they will have a life-changing experience with Jesus. I can almost hear Paul shouting at us in response: Don’t you dare spoil this thing!
“Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.” Galatians 1:8-9 (NLT)
The greatest news of all is that Jesus came to die for my sin! This is the best news ever! Not how I can be healed from sickness, or how God can meet my needs. Those are true. But It is the Gospel that changes a life. It is the Gospel that sets free. It is the Gospel that transforms. Don’t spoil it!
The Gospel is God Himself Speaking!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not an invention of some well-meaning apostles, it is a statement made by God Himself!
“Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11-12
Does it sometimes feel like God is distant and unconcerned with the things happening in our world? Are you in a season where it feels like God is nothing but a casual observer? Remember the Gospel! It is God’s audacious crazy declaration of His overwhelming love for us! A love that not even sin or death could hold down. A love that crossed the divide between heaven and earth… and went even farther to hell to break chains and set free. The Gospel is God Himself shouting how much He loves us! It isn’t a parable! This is not a drill! It is for real! Let the beautiful God-statement that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ spark a fresh sense of courage and audacity! Let it put another spring in your step, another praise on your lips! Hear the roar of heaven and believe again!
Something to Pray
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.” Ephesians 1:19 (NLT)
Would you pray that God would open your eyes to the wonder of the Gospel and its power for us that believe?
Taiwo leads the Career/ Business People’s Connect at Sycamore