The Deception

September 10, 2011
by Lynne Phipps

Galatians 1:6-7 – I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. (NIV)

As I gazed out the window of the aircraft, I could see the snow-covered landscape below. Mountains robed in splendour stretched for miles on end. Suddenly, though, I realized that I was seeing not one but two scenes. The snowy mountains were definitely one scenario, but the other one consisted only of clouds. The clouds were as varied, white, and shimmering as the snow below them, and they certainly looked solid from my vantage point. Yet if I were to step out on them or the plane attempted to land on them, how quickly such deception would be discovered.

In today's society, many gospels of salvation are preached. In fact, to hold to the belief of Christianity is often to be considered as narrow-minded, prejudiced, foolish, and discriminatory. And yet, it is God's Word and not our own which presents Jesus' claim, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NIV)

In Paul's day, the Galatians had gladly received the message of salvation in Christ, only to be deceived by a different gospel a short time later. Like us, I expect that the Galatians only wanted to belong, and to be accepted, liked and included by their peers. To place their trust in Christ also placed them in a position of disfavour among the people of the world, which is perhaps one of the reasons why they were so easily misled.

The ease with which the Galatians succumbed to deception is a good warning for God's people, as we are bombarded by many different gospels. It is a warning to remind us of the importance of knowing the Scriptures and thus knowing our own hearts.

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)

The Word of God allows us to look through the window of our hearts and thus avoid the deception of a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all.

Deception or truth, the Word of God or the word of man: the choice is ours.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the truth and power of Your Word. Bless us with the hunger and thirst to read and know and understand and apply it to our lives every day in every way, that we might stand firm until the end. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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