Severe Language and the Gospel, Part 1

“8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”

One of the challenges of preaching expositionally through the Bible is that it forces you to deal with the topic that is in the text rather than skipping around selectively and picking topics less controversial or uncomfortable.

Admittedly, there are passages and topics in the Bible that are difficult to speak on (e.g., divine election and reprobation, pain and suffering, the origin of evil, the doctrine of hell and eternal punishment).

When the Bible speaks about God’s wrath and the coming judgment, the language and imagery is undiluted, unedited and at times quite shocking. It could rival any R-rated Rambo movie!

“…without a profound grasp of the gospel, there is simply no context by which to understand the severe language of the Bible.”

The Bible is unapologetically clear that there is a coming day of divine judgment.

God the Father has appointed a time when the Son of Man will return (Matt. 24:36), intervene into human history, bring the course of this world to an end and determine the eternal fate of every person who has ever lived (cf. Matt. 13:49; 25:32; Rev. 14:1-20; 19; 20:11-15).

In Galatians 1:8-9, Paul unequivocally states the reality of God’s coming judgment. His language constitutes one of the most severe statements in the NT.

The temptation in light of such severe language is to gloss over it or perhaps deny it. It is, frankly, easier to discreetly ignore a passage like this than to deal with it and its implications. There is certainly no way to make God’s judgment and eternal punishment taste like a cupcake!

This brings us to ask: What are we to make of Paul’s statement in Galatians 1:8-9? How are we to understand such severe language?

Over the next several series of posts, we will come to see that without a profound grasp of the gospel, there is simply no context by which to understand the severe language of the Bible.

With this thesis in mind, what are some lessons that we can learn from the severe language found in Scripture, such as Galatians 1:8-9?

To be continued…


3 Responses to Severe Language and the Gospel, Part 1

  1. Scott says:

    One of the first thoughts that jump into my head is that God is to be taken seriously.

  2. Doug Avent says:

    I heard John MacArthur say, at the 2008 conference shown on Ligonier Ministries site, “that hard preaching makes for soft hearts and soft preaching makes for hard hearts” or something like that. I do believe that the hard sayings, once understood, have the power to break us down and make us receptive to the Gospel. I know it did me. Blessings, Doug

  3. Hey if you have a moment, check out my site. I put up some cool stuff for fellow WordPress blog owners! :)

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