Feb 4, 2015

Deeper Walk || Galatians 1:1-10

Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers who are with me,To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,  to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
 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.

False teachers have arisen among the Galatians and St. Paul expresses his surprise as some of the believers follow a distorted gospel. In the absence of a gentle greeting, Paul starts his letter to the Galatian church with a stern word. He begins with a summary of the gospel—that according to God's will, Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, demonstrating that there is no other way for people to be saved other than the cross of Christ. In this we find grace and peace from God the Father.

Paul gains nothing if he preached a lie. As the rest of the epistle expounds, his authority didn't originate from humans but from the Lord himself. This gives Paul the motivation and confidence over his detractors. 

It is an exercise in futility to seek the approval of men. When we collide with people who disagree with us or are hostile towards us, let us remember that we have been called by the grace of God. We aim to please God and not men because they are not the ones who sent us. Paul labored that the Galatians be conformed to the image of Christ and for the undefiled gospel to take root in their lives and produce fruit. He was zealous for the truth. Do we have the same passion as he did? Can we test what is true and what is distorted? Do we minister from a place of God-given authority or do we shrink back and focus on making ourselves look good instead?

Let us continue to hold fast the word that was implanted in us, which is able to save our souls (James 1:21) and the souls of others. And let us not do this for our own justification but for God, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

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