Accept No Substitutes
My daughter has been wanting a wearable step counter (basically a Fitbit) for quite some time. She likes to eat healthily and engage in healthy activities throughout the day. It makes sense that she would be fascinated by counting her steps.
The other day, with the aid of her parents, she purchased a kids fitness tracker from amazon.com for $28. Not only would it count steps, but the band was purple. Greatest. Tracker. Ever.
When the tracker arrived, Madison discovered that it was difficult to operate. The instructions were in broken English and very hard to understand. After reading the instructions and fiddling with the tracker, everything was good to go!
She ran around the yard and counted her steps the whole time. When she was tired, she would give the bracelet to Austin so the steps could continue to climb. Fitness and fun. Who knew?
Today, the tracker broke.
Madison decided that she will return the tracker to Amazon and buy an actual Fitbit. She's got the money. In fact, she has more spending money than I do!
The moral of the story? Accept no substitutes.
Do you want a Fitbit? Buy one. Accept no substitutes and go with the original. Have you ever tried a substitute and it didn't pan out? You thought it was a good idea at the time, but quickly realized you were wrong? Accept no substitutes.
In Galatians, we read a letter that Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia. He warned them of accepting a substitute gospel instead of the one true Gospel - the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Galatians 1:6-7 (NIV) "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ."
Paul says that this "different" gospel is no gospel at all! There is one way, one gospel, that fixes man’s broken relationship with God. The churches in Galatia, however, are starting to believe lies about the gospel. They add rules to the message and change the message completely.
It would look something like this, “Yes Jesus is the way to salvation… plus something else.” “Yes, believe in Jesus… and be a good person to be saved." “Yes, believe in Jesus… and be baptized to be saved.” “Yes, believe in Jesus… and go to church to be saved."
The Gospel of Christ is that He died for us and by grace, we have been saved through faith. Salvation is a gift from God. We don't deserve it and we can't earn salvation. Salvation is freely given to those who believe in Jesus.
There is one true Gospel of Christ.
Accept no substitutes.
Until Monday, Josh