The Beginning of all Heresy - The Warrior's Journey®

The Beginning of all Heresy

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“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 — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” (Galatians 1:6-8) 

No book of the Bible opens up with such a cannon volley of stern rebukes and curses as we find here in Galatians. Paul was never this harsh with the Corinthians, which is amazing, considering the significant evils which riddled the Corinthian church. Paul sees the Galatians’ outstanding sin as far worse. For the Galatians were removing their faith and dependence from Christ and His finished work on the cross.  They had ceased to trust in the Holy Spirit’s power to transform and energize them to keep God’s commands. Now they were trusting in their own efforts to keep the physical requirements of Pharisaical Judaism. The Galatian believers had regressed to a system that offered no hope of saving sinners or preserving saints. 

False teachers had infiltrated the Galatian church after Paul had established it. They were telling the Galatians, “It’s good to believe in Jesus, but it’s not enough. Salvation and the blessings of the New Covenant can only come through the House of Israel – to whom all the promises of the Scripture were originally given. Therefore, you must become a Jew, through circumcision and keeping Moses’ law.” It all seemed to make sense. Plus it appealed to their ego. It rang with the message, “Thanks for the help, God. But I’ll take it from here.” 

For Paul this regression was catastrophic. No redeemed sinner will ever outgrow their total dependence upon God’s undeserved love and favor. The law’s only purpose was to convince us that we are powerless to save ourselves. It only came to show us our sinfulness and that we can never make ourselves righteous in God’s sight. Only Christ’s resurrection power can regenerate us. Only He can write His law on our hearts. Henceforth, we must depend upon Jesus exclusively to sustain and perfect this miraculous work He began in us. Salvation is not a “do-it-yourself” project. Christ, and only Christ, must save us. God recognizes no other sacrifice for sins but Christ’s. He accepts no other righteousness but Christ’s. And all those promises that were supposedly made originally to the House of Israel? They actually belong to the Messiah, Jesus – who is the true seed of Abraham and the true heir of all things. Only those who embrace Jesus by faith can partake of them.  This is the beginning of all heresy. When we diminish Christ and make other things the object of our faith. 


  • Is there a tendency in humans to make salvation a “do-it-yourself” project? 
  • Can you see how this might rob you of your joy and peace in the Lord? 
  • Let’s never cease to trust in, and rejoice in, the love of Jesus Christ for us. 

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