Paul feels so strongly about the distortion of the Good News of Jesus that he repeats the curse on those who would dare disturb the peace and security of God’s children. In Galatians 1:9 he says it again, “As we have said 10 human trafficbefore, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” The contempt to which Paul holds those who distort the gospel is certainly powerfully communicated. Dealing in the slave trade is a despicable business. One should never hold others captive by force, finances, philosophy or false religious teaching. This was especially true since Jesus came to set us free! Paul calls down God’s most profound judgment on those who would seduce God’s children into any form of slavery. It’s a despicable business to Paul and to God.

The Judaizers claim to be God’s spokesmen. They have the inside track and in the name of Jesus, they preach “another” message that instead of setting the faithful free actually enslaves them to a different slave master. The Galatians were redeemed from slavery, set free by the Gospel, only to fall into the peril of becoming slaves again to other religious slave masters. A scandal in the history of Western civilization illustrates how this can happen. In the early 1600s twenty slaves landed at the Jamestown colony and were sold as slaves to the residence there. It appears they were once slaves in the Indies but were snatched away from their Spanish owners only to be sold into slavery to new slave owners in America. What makes this event even more scandalous is that the name of the ship that delivered them from the Indies to Jamestown was the “Jesus.” What inspired the double curse from Paul, the Apostle of the heart set free, was that the horror that the very people he had seen set free by God’s grace on his first missionary journey were now being seduced back into slavery once again. And they were being seduced in the name of Jesus.

This infuriated the Apostle! The preaching of salvation through any works of any law puts the souls of people at risk. Furthermore, it attacked the authenticity of Christ. In the Old Economy, the law was the center of religious life as seen in the Holy of Holies. The ten commandments, the Law, was held in the Ark of the Covenant, upon which the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled upon the mercy seat for the remission of the sins of the people. According to the prophets when the Messiah came the center of religious life would move from the law to the Messiah. Laws, once recorded in stone, were then to be upon the hearts of people. The Messiah was to displace the Law. If salvation still necessitated any kind of law keeping, Jesus was not the Messiah. If the law still had force as the way of salvation, the messianic age had not come. If the Messianic age was not introduced by Jesus, then Jesus was a fraud and a liar and he was “anathema.” Jesus then had been rightly judged and convicted and executed on the cross. Any teaching that would lead to this conclusion must be “anathema” itself!