Unfortunately, like most everything else that the Lord does, Satan tries to counterfeit it and thereby deceive mankind. The Apostle Paul had received word that the Churches of Galatia had been deceived by false teachers proclaiming a different gospel, a gospel that could not be considered good news at all. Those men preached the necessity of works in order to be saved, and to stay saved. In response, Paul began his epistle with a powerful statement:
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 1:6-12).
And while the word "Gospel" does not appear again in his letter, nearly the entire epistle was written to respond to the false teachers. He first defended his apostleship (1:10 -2:21). Next, Paul presented contrasted the false gospel against the true Gospel (3:1 - 5:1). And finally, he explained the results of trusting in the Gospel as it is manifested in the lives of born again believers (5:2 - 6:18).
While I believe the letter was written exactly as the Lord wanted, if I were able to rearrange it, I would begin with Galatians 3:1-3. These verses say it all:
"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"
We will continue tomorrow, Lord willing, beginning with Paul's epistle to the Church at Ephesus.