No Other Gospel! An Exposition of Galatians 1:6-10 -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 10:1 (Summer 2001)
Article: No Other Gospel! An Exposition of Galatians 1:6-10
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.


No Other Gospel!
An Exposition of Galatians 1:6-101

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

[Lewis Johnson regularly ministered the Word at Believers Chapel in Dallas for more than thirty years. From 1950 to 1977, he taught New Testament and systematic theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. He also served as professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, from 1980 to 1985.]

Introduction

The early Roman writers have given us a very clear picture of the character of the Gauls. They were noted for their sharp and quick minds, prompt and vigorous action, and impressionability. That was the good side of their nature. On the other side was their inconstancy, treachery, quarrelsomeness, and ease of discouragement, and the ancient writers dwelt on these more adverse aspects of their character. There is one aspect, however, that seems to fit very well the picture of the Galatians that emerges in Paul’s epistle. It is their fickleness of temperament. Julius Caesar, in his Gallic War, mentions this instability and complains that almost without exception they were driven by the desire to change.2 It is this feature that reveals itself in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, and it comes to the fore in his opening paragraph, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him” (1:6; cf. 3:1). This combination of warmhearted impulsiveness and fickleness has led some to speak of the Galatians as “the Americans among the churches.” Or, perhaps we should speak of the Americans as the Galatians among the nations.

We do not wish to push this too much, for we have concluded, with some tentativeness, that the churches to which Paul wrote were in the southern part of Asia Minor, while the Gauls had primarily settled in the northern part. The likeness between the ancient picture of the Gauls and the Galatians of Paul’s

letter is, nevertheless, striking.

The principal point that the apostle made in verses 6–10 is simply this: There is but one gospel, the primitive gospel, the gospel of the apostles. It is a gospel of grace. It is a gospel about Christ and His penal substitutionary sacrifice. And it is a gospel that is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes it. Amid the changing years, then, there is the one unchanging good news.

The Apostle Paul makes some exceedingly strong statements about those who would ...

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