In the New Testament, Paul wrote nine letters to various churches. In every letter except Galatians, Paul began with words of thankfulness for the church and then turned to words of confrontation. Generally, this is an excellent model to use when having difficult conversations, i.e., start off with lots of love and then throw in some tough commentary.
In Galatians, however, Paul gets straight to the heart of the matter, demonstrating the seriousness of the problem in the church of Galatia:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all.
There is only one gospel. Yet, as Christians, we get confused about what the gospel is. We hear wise sayings of Jesus, or we work with the poor because God has a heart for the poor, or we work diligently and for the Lord, and we think this is the gospel. But, it is not.
The gospel is a historical fact: Jesus Christ died as a propitiation for our sins and then conquered death by raising to life. Romans 3, Hebrews 2, 1 John 2. That we can believe in Him and, thereby, live with the Lord forever is the good news. All other good things (e.g., love for Jesus’ wise sayings, a heart for the poor, or godly working) are mere outworkings of a gospel transformation in our hearts.
Let us diligently hold fast with doctrinal clarity to the truth of the gospel. For the ones who threatened the clarity of the gospel in the Galatian church were not those from the outside, but rather, those from the inside. Galatians 1:7-9, 2:4.