I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by 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 preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you have received(Bible), let him be eternally condemned. Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:6-10
To deny the bible’s authority, to change it in any way, to twist and conform it, to listen to false teachers to hear what itching ears want to hear, is to follow another gospel, which is no gospel at all. And such are many doing now as was prophesied by Christ Himself. Many are perverting the gospel into something they want it to be rather than what it is. But as Truth is constant and immutable, it will not be changed.
To speculate what Christ would do or say by opinion outside the bible is to follow another gospel. To preach and proclaim God’s love while denying His justice is to proclaim another gospel. His love and His hatred of sin can’t be separated. They are intertwined.
The Friend of sinners was emphatically beyond all other public teachers the enemy of sin. His hatred towards sin was not mere passion, it was a principle; it did not flash forth now and then, it was a constant flame. He hated sin implacably, never making a moment’s truce with it. He pursued it by day in his ministry, and by night in his prayers. He lived to conquer it and he died to destroy it. And now in his risen glory it is upon sin as well as upon Satan that he sets his heel. He was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and his gospel power was set so it will not leave of Satan’s strongholds so much as one stone standing upon another which will not be thrown down.
In the life of our Lord his tenderness for sinners was the natural form in which his hatred of sin displayed itself. Just as a dedicated physician, from the very fact that he is the enemy of disease but displays a deep interest in those afflicted with disease.
Our Lord’s keeping company with sinners by no means proved that he was friend of sin any more than the physician’s attendance at the hospital would lead to the suspicion that she was the friend of disease. The dedicated physician is the friend of the diseased, but to the disease itself, no enemy is she more determined to conquer and prevail.
Because those who claim to have no sin, like the diseased who deny being sick also deny the need of a physician, Jesus does not seek them out. But since the sick need him he seeks them, not out of love of their sin, but out of love for them, that they may be delivered from the cruel bondage under which their sin has held them. Jesus is friend of sinners, yes, but his love’s aim is to free them from sin’s enslavement. -g.w.