“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. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
So this is in the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia. And from the very beginning, he’s making clear that there is one gospel, one good news from God. There’s one gospel, one truth from God that is able to save sinners. The glorious reality that though we have all sinned against God, God in his mercy has made a way for us to be forgiven of our sins, reconciled to him by sending Jesus, His Son.
God in the flesh to live a perfect life with no sin, to die on the cross. To pay the price for sinners, to rise from the dead and victory over the grave, over sin, Satan and death, and to ascend into heaven where he rules and reigns overall now, and one day is coming back for all who have turned from their sin and trusted in him. This is the gospel. This is the good news at the core of the Bible.
Prioritizing the Gospel over Political Opinions
Rather than prioritizing political opinions over the gospel, we should keep the gospel at the center of it all.
And what’s happening in the book of Galatians is Paul is addressing false teachers who were saying, “No, that’s not the gospel. It’s that plus adding on work specifically as necessary for salvation.” So much we could talk about there. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone. This is the gospel and that’s what Paul is saying. So what does that have to do with praying God’s word in the middle of a presidential election?
The reason I want to lead us to pray Galatians 1:6–10 is because in the middle of a presidential election, it is possible in our own hearts, in conversations we have with others and in the church for political opinions, political convictions to rise to a level that only the gospel belongs. In other words, people holding so strongly to political convictions, political opinions even, that we lose sight of the centrality of the gospel.
Galatians 1:6–10 Hopes for Unity in the Church
This is one of the ways that the unity of the church is threatened in the toxic political climate we live in. When people start to prioritize political opinions and convictions in the church and lose sight of the gospel as that which unites us together. So, I just want to lead us to pray that the gospel, gospel truth, not political convictions or opinions, that the gospel would reign supremely clear in the church.
God, we ask for this. We ask for this in each of our hearts, in a deeper way during these days. Help us to love Jesus and to love the gospel more than we’ve ever loved Jesus and the gospel before. God, please help us to hold fast to the truth of the gospel, to unite as your church around the truth of the gospel, the good news of what you have done in Christ. The good news of who Jesus is and how Jesus rules and reigns.
Jesus Exalted in the World
God, we want Jesus to be supreme in our lives. We want Jesus to be supreme in the church. Yes, we want Jesus to be exalted in the world. We want the world to look at the church and not hear about this candidate or that candidate. We want the world to look at the church and hear about Jesus supremely. No, we don’t want the world to look at the church and hear about this political opinion or that political conviction. We want the world to look at the church and hear the gospel that’s able to save people from their sins and reconcile them to you forever and ever, and ever.
God, we pray that the gospel would be supremely clear in our hearts, supremely clear in our lives, in our families, in our churches. And God, we pray for the spread of the gospel in our country. God, we pray for the spread of the good news of Jesus’ death on the cross, resurrection from the grave and forgiveness of sinners through faith in him.
Galatians 1:6–10 Prays for the Gospel to be Spread
God, we pray that this news would spread. Oh God, we pray that this news would spread across our country. God, we pray for spiritual awakening in the United States and other countries that are representatives who are praying right now. God, we pray for this. May the name of Jesus be exalted, especially in the presidential election where we see the imperfections of different candidates. God, may the perfection of Jesus shine all the brighter and may the gospel of Jesus spread all the faster through our lives.
Help us to speak today. God, help us to share the gospel today with somebody else and help us to point somebody to Jesus today. God, we pray that it even emits political opinions and political convictions that we have. That we want to be formed by your word. We pray that you give us wisdom as these convictions are formed in us. But God, we pray that they would pale in comparison to your revelation of who you are. Your commands in your word and the gospel at the core of your word. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.