“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed”
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you
Just in case some might think that Paul’s team is an exception, he includes his gospel team in this hypothesis. Paul draws the unlikely hypothesis that if even his gospel team or an angel from Heaven were to preach a different gospel than the gospel of grace, they should be cursed along with anyone else who distorts the gospel. It makes no difference who preaches the gospel; the gospel must be the gospel of grace. This is not a question of who preaches, but what is preached.
than what we have preached to you,
If anyone preaches not only a markedly different gospel but also any gospel other than what Paul preaches, then they should go under a curse. The Galatians probably assumed that the legalizers’ gospel was not very different from the gospel of grace.
let him be accursed
The translators take the Greek word anathema and carry it over as it sounds into the English. The metaphorical idea of “accursed” means something devoted to destruction, a curse. People who preach a different gospel than the gospel of grace stand under God’s judgment. We deal in grave matters when we distort the gospel.
Paul moves from shock to accusing the Galatians of deserting the One who called them and finally pronounced a curse on them. Clearly, he feels that the Galatians violated a core principle in Christianity. He does not mince his words when it comes to people who defect from the gospel of grace.
We have true unity when we are faithful to the truth of the gospel.
How do Christians hold appropriate tension between the desire for unity in the body and the purity of truth? Core doctrine takes precedence over unity. Unity takes precedence over peripheral doctrine. A mistaken sense of unity leads many people today into false doctrine because they place warm feelings over truth.
On the one hand, we cannot desert the heart of Christian doctrine. Yet, on the other hand, if we agree on vital doctrine, we do everything in our power to walk together in unity.
The nature of the gospel of grace is a core doctrine, according to our passage. Many today do not like a mutually exclusive gospel, for we live in a day of tolerance to any new idea that may come down the pike. Few call a spade a spade when it comes to false doctrine.
Many hate a gospel that claims that people are poor lost sinners, that they are helpless and hopeless without Jesus’ death for them on the cross.