“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel“ Gal 1:6 (KJV)
After the Apostle Paul delivers his salutation, he dives right into the heart of matter – the urgent need for which he was compelled to write – the Gospel was in crisis. It seems that some Galatian believers were on the verge of apostasy, by deserting the true faith and being deceived by “another” gospel. Which, by the way, he is quick to explain is not gospel at all.
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (verse 7)
He then pronounces an apostolic anathema upon anyone who preaches “any other gospel” than “the grace of Christ.”
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. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (verses 8-9)
The word “accursed” used the KJV quotations in verses 8 and 9 above are translations of the Greek word ἀνάθεμα. This word is simply transliterated into English in the following verse from I Cor 16, which demonstrates the full force of the word.
If any man loveth not the Lord, let him be anathema. Maranatha.
(1 Cor 16:22, ASV)
The Greek word ἀνάθεμα, in the NT, conveys the meaning of being cursed from God and reserved unto destruction. In the LXX, it is the Greek word chosen to render the Hebrew word cherem, as in the following.
The proper understanding of the word anathema is important because it serves as a sobering warning to those that would pervert the Gospel of Grace. Regarding perversions of the Gospel of Grace, the Roman Counter-Reformation council – The Council of Trent – an extremely important and pivitol landmark in canonizing Rome’s Middle Age heresies, pronounces anathema no less than 31 times in it’s Justification Canons.
As Rome tries to syphon apostate “protestant christians” from liberal denominations, it has the difficult task of whitewashing these embarrassing canons of Roman doctrine. Consider the subtlety of the following Roman apologetic, in light of the Apostle’s warning!