In Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia in Asia Minor, churches he previously had visited on his missionary journeys, Paul addressed those in their midst who were attempting to pervert the Gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:7). There were those who were coming into the churches and telling those who had put their complete faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for salvation as Paul had preached, that in addition they needed to be circumcised for complete salvation. In Galatians chapter five Paul adamantly disputes the notion anything needs to be added to Christ’s sacrifice for salvation.
Paul admonished the Galatian Christians to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (5:1). Paul wrote that if anything is added to God’s free gift of salvation, “Christ shall profit you nothing” (5:2). Paul declared those who agree to the need for circumcision in addition to faith in Christ for salvation place themselves back under the Law, and “Christ becomes of no effect unto you,” (5:3-4). Earlier in Paul’s letter he had written to the Galatians, “By the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified,” (2:16). Jesus said during His Sermon on the Mount, “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil,” (Matthew 5:17). Christ fulfilled through His death, burial and resurrection all that is needed for man’s salvation.
There are those who promote, in addition to faith in Christ, the need to immediately be baptized to wash away sin or the need to do good works in order to obtain forgiveness of sin and salvation in Christ. Just as with those in Paul’s day calling for circumcision to be added for salvation, Paul emphasized, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love,” GOD’s love: AGAPE love (Galatians 5:6). The attempt to obtain salvation by any other means but through faith in Christ Alone is a false salvation. Paul calls it “another gospel: which is not another,” and gives this proclamation, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed,” and to emphasize the importance of his point he immediately repeats, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed,” (Galatians 1:8-9).