But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.…
To exercise candour and forbearance towards those who differ from us, is a Christian duty. Yet there are bounds beyond which candour is indifference, and forbearance treason. In things nonessential various opinions may be tolerated; in essentials we must be firm and unwavering. St. Paul sees that in Galatia the very foundations of Christianity are shaking. He therefore reasserts with great force the gospel he had preached there.
I. WHAT WAS THE GOSPEL PAUL PREACHED? The great doctrine he insisted on, was justification by faith without the works of the law. Now consider —
1. His line of argument. The law curses and condemns. By faith alone are we justified, and made partakers of the benefits of the gospel. The prophets preached. this. The covenant with Abraham was one of promise.
2. The objections he anticipates. No ground for saying the gospel tends to licentiousness. Works are needful, though not to be taken into account.
3. The .perversions of which he complains. The addition of legal observance to performance of duties enjoined by the gospel, under the impression that thus they could render themselves more acceptable to God. This was mongrel — neither law nor gospel; so practically a rejection of the gospel.
II. WHY DID PAUL MANIFEST SUCH ZEAL IN MAINTAINING, THIS GOSPEL?
1. To maintain the purity of the gospel, the fountain of life to the world.
2. To maintain the importance of the gospel, the only source of salvation.
3. To maintain the sufficiency of the gospel to justify and sanctify.Application — If this gospel be true, it is of importance
(a) to be received by you, and
(b) to be diffused by you over the world. There was nothing that Paul would not do and suffer, in order to propagate the gospel of God. Shall not we emulate his zeal?
(Charles Simeon, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.