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“Make love, not war!” may have been a popular slogan, but it is not always feasible. Doctors must make war against disease and death; sanitary engineers must war against filth and pollution; legislators must war against injustice and crime. And they all fight because of something they love!

  • “You that love Yahweh [the Lord], hate evil” (Ps. 97:10).
  • “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Rom. 12:9).
  • Paul waged war against the false teachers because he loved the truth, and because he loved those whom he had led to the Messiah.
  • Like a loving father who guards his daughter until she is married, Paul watched over his converts lest they be seduced into sin.

The Judaizers are identified by the false good news [gospel] that they preached. The test of a man’s ministry is not popularity, or miraculous signs and wonders, but his faithfulness to the Word of God. Jesus had committed the Gospel to Paul, and he, in turn, had committed it to other faithful servants. But the Judaizers had come along and substituted their false gospel for the true Gospel, and for this sin, Paul pronounced them accursed. The word he uses is anathema, which means “dedicated to destruction.” No matter who the preacher may be-an angel from heaven or even Paul himself-if he preaches any other gospel, he is accursed!

But there is a second characteristic of Paul’s adversaries: the false motives that they practiced. His enemies accused Paul of being a compromiser and “adjusting” the Gospel to fit the Gentiles.

  • Perhaps they twisted the meaning of Paul’s statement, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:22).
  • They said, “When Paul is with the Jews, he lives like a Jew; but when he is with the Gentiles, he lives like the Gentiles. He is a man-pleaser, and therefore you cannot trust him!”

But, it was the false teacher who was the man-pleaser. “These men are paying you special attention, but not sincerely,” Paul wrote (Gal. 4:17). “They want to shut you off from me, so that you may keep on paying them special attention”. Later, Paul also exposes the false teachers as the compromisers, going back to Old Testament practices so that they would not be persecuted by the Jewish people. Paul was not a man-pleaser. His ministry did not come from man, nor did his message come from man. Why, then, should he be afraid of men? Why should he seek to please men? His heart’s desire was to please Christ.

Paul was not a politician; he was an ambassador. His task was not to “play politics” but to proclaim a message. These Judaizers, on the other hand, were cowardly compromisers who mixed Law and grace, hoping to please both Jews and Gentiles, but never asking whether they were pleasing God.

Good news: Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit and he is the spirit of truth. The good news message of Jesus is clear. We can discern the message of truth.

  • Galatians 1:8–9 — 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
  • 2 Corinthians 11:13–15 — 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of the Messiah. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
  • 2 Peter 2:1 — 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
  • 2 Peter 2:17 — 17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.
  • Revelation 2:14–16 — 14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 ‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.