Stand Against Counterfeits


I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:6-7

So before we dig into this text, I want to note four details about the letter to the Galatians. First, it was one of the first letters in the New Testament. Second, it's also the first of Paul's letters. Third, it's a letter circulated to three churches he visited on his first trip; Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Fourth and most notable here, Paul appears to be the most irritated when he wrote this letter.

And I think I know why Paul was so irritated.

He was irritated because he used to be a legalist. Before he met Jesus, he studied legalism, practiced legalism, and enforced legalism — down to the letter of the religious law. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees. But when he met Jesus, he had to address this because Jesus confronted his legalism. When Paul encountered Jesus on the Damascus Road, it was a confrontation between the grace of God and the legalist righteousness of Paul. And right at that moment, Paul had to come to terms with the fact that God's grace was not something that could ever be earned through legalist religious behavior. It was something extended by God in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And it was this grace that gave Paul new sight!

And I think Paul has a right to be irritated because religious legalism is nothing like the message of the good news. Legalism has a four-fold effect on the good news. First, it encourages impossible standards that no one can live up to. Second, it promotes self-righteousness and all the self-centered motivations that go with it. Third, it fosters division in the church between people, classes, and giftings. And fourth, and most heinous of all, it downgrades the righteousness of Jesus and every he has done, accomplished, and completed for us. Thus it's a four-fold nullification of the gospel. As Paul said, legalism it's a gospel that looks like the gospel, but it's no gospel at all.

Fellas, we have to stand up for the good news of the gospel of grace. And we stand up by standing against the legalism that persuades our hearts. But what does it look like to do that? Well, here's what it looks like. At the moment you feel far from Jesus because of your disobedience, you need to preach to yourself his gospel of grace. And at the moment you feel close to Jesus because of your obedience, you need to preach to yourself his gospel of grace. And this isn't some strange self-help positive talk strategy. This is speaking the message of truth back to the heinous, devious, and insidious sin that lies within each of us — the enemy of legalism. And we are going to have to preach this to ourselves for the rest of our lives, living obediently in the gospel of grace every day.

So, where do you need to preach the gospel of grace to yourself today? Is it to an act of obedience or to an act of disobedience? Preach it to yourself, and let's stand against the fake gospel of legalism.

ASK THIS: So where today do you need to preach the gospel of grace to yourself today? Is it to an act of obedience or to an act of disobedience?

DO THIS: Share below.

PRAY THIS: God, forgive my disobedience when I run from your love and my obedience that attempts to earn your love. Make my desires only for you and for your benefit, not my own.

PLAY THIS: Matt Maher - Rise Up.


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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

Stand Against Counterfeits

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23 thoughts on “Stand Against Counterfeits

  1. Dennis says:

    I understand where you were going with this, but we must also be obedient to God’s word and follow His commandments. I feel that so many in the church today use grace as an excuse not to live a life of obedience . God’s word is crystal clear : James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
    John 14:15 says if you love Me, then you will keep my commandments.
    Grace goes along with repentance . But many use grace as an excuse to keep sinning.

    • Chris Caliguire says:

      Man, I so struggle with this! I recently bought a book by Andrew Farley, “The Grace message, is the gospel really this good?” I’ve yet to open it but hopefully it isn’t some hyperspace writing. I’m with you and add to your versus “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, cut off your right hand, go and sin no more, persevere to the end”. I feel so guilty all day long if I sin and so at peace (not arrogant nor earned) when I go serve the homeless, my Church body, etc. I think God created us to do good and expects us to do something (parable of talents). I’m hoping this Grace book will enlighten me because maybe I don’t truly believe that Jesus died for me. The see saw I’m on has me in a weird circle! Hate it. As of now, I’m just focusing on obedience and some I know are calling that legalism….I just tell them I’m not walking in the way of sinners (where my heart is at least)

  2. Jason says:

    To remember that I have been put in this current position by God and His grace is sufficient for me and to share the good news.

  3. Dave Mergens says:

    I love Paul’s words here, “not that there is another gospel…” So in order to believe another non-existent gospel, I would have to deceive myself. My prayer today for myself and for you brothers is that we all would be internally honest and externally on mission!

  4. Jason says:

    Amen, brother! You nailed it, again. Powerful message for all of mankind. Thank you. I’m being reminded that we are not defined by who we are but by Who He Is!!!

  5. Alexander Riddle says:

    Guys, I’m at a low point. My life has left me. She is talking about divorce. I’m living by myself. I’m being humbled every day. Please pray for the Riddle family

    • David Fredrickson says:

      Alexander, we are praying for you… and your family. Don’t know where you live, but if it’s near the SE Minnesota area I’d be happy to meet with you to offer encouragement and support. I believe the Lord has equipped me for sharing His love in this manner. Hold tight and endlessly to our wise and loving God bro! David

    • Eddie Ackerman says:

      Brother Alexander, I pray that whatever the outcome is from this painful experience that you rely on God’s grace and stay strong in your faith. If it is His will for this marriage to continue, I pray that He will soften hearts and minds and bring about reconciliation between you and your wife, yet not our will, but His be done in this matter. Amen.

    • Dennis says:

      Praying that God restore your relationship, and bring peace and comfort to you and your family.

    • Garrett V. says:

      I have been there brother. Same position. Renounce any burdens, sins, and curses you may feel or know are hindering the covenant you and your wife have together. Write them out and clearly renounce them to God. Ask for forgiveness. Do your best to read the word of God everyday to your fullest and walk by faith to the best of your ability. I pray that the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ works through you in your pursuit of Gods word and understanding and that your wife sees you for the man God is calling you to be. I know this is tough because I have been there. I believe to the fullest that God can make the same impact in your life and marriage as he did for mine.

  6. Stephen George says:

    It’s an act of obedience, to renew my mind according to the Word in areas that have to do with his name.

  7. Cory D says:

    I need extend the obedience of the gospel throughout my day. Too often I do my morning devotions and subconsciously check it off the list for the rest of day. I’ll remember the holy spirit is with me all day, not just 30 minutes in the morning.

  8. Mark says:

    Wow great word Vince, you have a real gift and for me that was like a whole Sunday morning sermon packed into 6 minutes, thanks for your ministry impacting people all over the world

  9. rick says:

    I really needed this today…ty Vince ! My outright disobedience to Him has left me empty. I need to accept His Grace and get back to living in His Grace !

  10. Robert Miranda says:

    Wow 🙏🏻🙌 Mind blowing brother. Amen. Loved it. So challenging. I need to preach quite a few things about legalism to my proud self too.

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