If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
From the very beginning of church history there have been those who “would pervert the gospel of Christ” (v. 7). Probably the first and most prevalent perversion of the gospel was that of adding works to “the free gift [that] came upon all men unto justification of life” (Romans 5:18) contrary to “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4) namely that “by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
The idea that one must perform acts of righteousness for the absolution of sin is as old as the fall of man. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:7). Their efforts to hide their sin was futile, for only God could adequately cover their sin by the shedding of innocent blood (Genesis 3:21). All the religions of the world and even some Christian denominations demand certain acts or rites to be performed in order to ensure salvation or eternal life. Only the “glorious gospel of Christ” places the burden of man’s redemption fully on the shoulders of God Himself, and removes from man any occasion for boasting in works of self-righteousness (Ephesians 2:9).
The message of the Gospel is this: “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), and “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-13). Any teaching that even remotely suggests that salvation requires anything other than faith in the simple Gospel of the Scriptures is anathema. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).