Different or Same?

“But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised …” (Gal. 1:7)

Paul says he is entrusted with the gospel and Peter had been entrusted to the gospel but each was to preach to a different group of people. Paul would take the gospel to the Gentiles and Peter to the Jews but both would be taking the gospel. Perhaps the wording here might seem to suggest that Paul had one version of the gospel and Peter another. One gospel for each different group?

At the eye doctor’s we hear a lot of different or same. A little better or worse is thrown in also. Were there two versions of the gospel, one for each group of people? No there was one gospel for all people. In Christ, all are made one. There is no Jew and no Gentile, there are just children of God. Not two gospels, one for Paul and one for Peter. Not multiple gospels, one for the Ephesians, and one for the Galatians and another for the Jews in Rome, etc.

The same is true today. Different gospels are preached. One gospel is preached by the church on the corner and another one by the church on the hill and still another one by the church down the street. Often the buildings housing these different gospels sit side by side or across the road from each other. Neither Paul nor Peter would recognize this different gospel for everyone. Take the gospel of your choice is the modern way. What you believe is not as important as just believing. We’re all going to the same place the world tells us, we’re just taking the route of different gospels. Nothing wrong with that.

Maybe, and maybe not. I don’t think the Galatian Christians are going to get very far with Paul with that argument. Paul is clear. One gospel and all others are anathema is Paul’s answer and I think it might be Peter’s as well. One gospel makes one group of believers who are saved in the same way by the same truth and places them in one body, the assembly of Christ Jesus.

The gospel is the good news of what God did to provide salvation and how he did it. The message of the good news calls for a response and that response ought to be as “same” as the gospel is the “same.” This is not a case of silence of the scripture. True, there are somethings we disagree on which are not covered in the New Testament. We need to be careful there but we are not as confined on keeping things the same as we are on those things that the New Testament does speak about.

Paul says the gospel was preached to Jews and Gentiles; to all peoples of the world and the gospel preached was the “same.” How God saved us through Jesus is one truth, not many. The plan of salvation was given in unity. Everyone, Jew or Gentile were saved by the same Lord in the very same way.

Task for Today:  Study the gospel as preached by Peter. Study the gospel as preached by Paul. Compare what they instructed men do to be saved with what modern day preachers are saying. Different or the same? Which should you believe and which should you obey? Don’t mess around with this. Hear God not men. Obey God and not men.

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