One of the foundations of Christianity is the gospel. That words simply means the “good news” which truly is the point of the life of Jesus. He died for our sins, was raised from the dead, and paid the penalty for our sin; that’s why it’s good news. But it has been a problem in the church, since the first century, that people try to change that core message or muddy the waters with things that are not talked about in scripture.
A passage that highlights this problem is Galatians 1:6-10, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
An easy way to break down this passage for comprehension is by looking at the key words: Pervert, Preach, Persuade, and Please.
The original word translated “pervert” means literally “to turn across” or “transmute”. It gives the sense of something original being changed to something corrupt. Some would take the original power of the gospel and change it to a corrupted message. The message that was preached or literally “heralded” about the good news was now not the popular message. This corrupted message was now being preached to the people to their doom.
The passage then goes on to indicate that this message was persuasive towards men, but it would not persuade the originator of the gospel. Paul finishes his thought with the fact that he was not trying to please the common man with the good news, but trying to please God in his work.
This passage is very helpful to us to let us know the message can be perverted. Knowing this, we need to ensure the message that we tell to other, and that we believe ourselves, it the true message from God. The way we do this is by going back to the originator of the gospel and confirming the word. Acts 17:11, “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”