1:6 I marvel that thus so quickly you change from the one who called you by the grace of Christ into a different kind of gospel, 1:7 which is not of the same kind, except there are some who trouble you and desire to distort the Gospel of The Christ. 1:8 But even if perhaps we, or a messenger (angel) out from heaven should bring good news to you which is alongside that good news already brought to you, it is to be set aside. 1:9 Just as I before said, and again I say, “If, assuming it is true, someone brings good news to you alongside that which you have received; it is to be set aside. Galatians 1:6-9
Those who seek to distort the Gospel of The Christ do it by bringing a different gospel alongside the true good news. The preposition used to express how this different gospel, that is not a gospel of the same kind, attempts to manifest itself is “Para”, which means, “from the side of”. It can have the sense of contrary to something; however, it still keeps its main meaning, which is to come alongside. So, rather than directly contradicting, as in a face to face conflict, the gospel message they bring, the ones seeking to distort the Gospel of The Christ, comes alongside the true gospel in an effort to change it into something different.
If perhaps anyone brings you a gospel that is alongside (in a contrary sense) to the gospel which you have already received it is to be set aside (Anathema). Although often translated “accursed”, “anathema” comes from the concept of an item that was set aside for the worship, or use, of a god; hence, doomed for destruction. Any other message that is brought claiming to be good news that is contrary to or goes beyond the Gospel of The Christ is to be set aside as having no value to the Christian life because it is doomed for destruction.
Anathema is a neuter noun and thus can only apply to the message, not the messenger (plenty of other scriptures are very clear on how to deal with false teachers).
There are many who come seeking to take away the freedom we have in Christ by contradicting the gospel by bringing another message up alongside it in an effort to distort the true message. Perhaps it is by a quality of law; you cannot work on Sunday because it is the Sabbath day, you have to tithe in order for God to bless you, God will only show you mercy if you show others mercy. Or perhaps it is taking the grace of God and turning it into a lavished lifestyle – God wants you to be rich and have everything you want here on earth; you are to live here on earth is the same way you will live in heaven where you will have everything you ever dreamed of… . Either way it is a message that distorts the truth and seeks to move a saint away from the one who called that saint by the grace of Christ. There are many false Christians today – people claiming to be Christians who are not – that bring a message that changes the original message. These are often people who have a very good appearance; they are likable, great friends, and often hard working individuals willing to give you the shirt off their back, but not Christians. Whether by intent to deceive you, or because they are deceived themselves, they bring a false gospel message. A message that seeks to enslave saints in a quality of law or turn the grace of God into a lavished lifestyle – teaching that gain is godliness, 1 Timothy 6:5.
There are only two ways to identify a true Christian; by their birth and by their fruit. What is their salvation based upon? Only by believing that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures will true salvation come. You cannot be saved by “accepting Jesus into your heart”, “having a relationship with Jesus”, “Asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins” or any other message. We are saved by faith – taking God at His word- not by works, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 2:8,9. What about their fruit? What type of a lifestyle do they actually live, not the one they want everyone to see at Church, but who they really are in every day life. Love is an expression from God and only a true Christian can express God’s quality of love. This is a love that seeks the best for the one loved and is to be directly at other Christians, not at the world. Yet, many false gospels bring a social message that takes from the saint and give to the unsaved. Anyone loving the world is not expressing God’s quality of love, for if you are loving the world the love of the Father is not in you, 1 John 2:15.
Stand fast in the freedom in which Christ has set us free, and do not be again entangled with a yoke of bondage, Galatians 5:1.