Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!
Knowing the Real Gem
The writer Haddon Robinson tells the story about a boy in China who wanted to learn all about the precious gemstone, jade. So, he went to study under a gentle old man who knew all there was to know about jade. The first thing the old man did was to place a piece of jade into the boy’s hand and tell him to hold it tight. Then the old man proceeded to talk about everything under the sun; everything except jade. After an hour of this, he took the gem back and told the boy to go home.
This routine went on for weeks—the boy holding the piece of jade in his hand, the old man talking about everything but jade. Understandably, the boy became frustrated. “When is my teacher going to start talking about jade?” he thought. Then one day, when the old man put a common stone into his hand, the boy cried out instinctively, “That’s not jade!”
The old man’s wisdom was clear. He didn’t want that boy to sit and listen to someone talk about jade. He wanted that boy to know for himself what jade was, and to know it so well that he could instantly recognize a fake.
God wants the same for us when it comes to his Word—he wants us to know it so well that we will instantly recognize any false teaching about him. He knows how dangerous false teaching is. It leads us away from him rather than toward him. No wonder St. Paul was so emphatic when he told the Christians in Galatia that they should not listen to false teaching, even if he himself preached it—even if an angel from heaven preached it!
Our loving Lord does not want us to be deceived into thinking that we can somehow earn or deserve his love and forgiveness. These are a pure gift from him through Jesus. “So,” he says, “When you are told or tempted to think that you can earn your own way into my good graces, be sure to say, ‘That’s not the gospel!’”
Holy Spirit, forgive me for the times I ignore opportunities to know your Word better. Work through that Word so that I may know your truths so well that I never fall for what is false. Amen.