Only through Jesus Christ are you given the free gift of Grace any by that you will have peace. Paul continues to get right to the point in Galatians 1:3, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,”. He gives them two words that sum up what he is going to be writing about. GRACE and PEACE. Grace is the salvation that they received without works. Peace is how they should feel now in Christ. The Galatians were not living under grace and definitely did not have peace. Paul does not mince words. We as Christians don’t need to “man up”… we need to “Paul up”. We need to continually remember to bask in the GRACE and PEACE of Jesus. It is a privilege and honor to be under the umbrella of His grace and peace yet so often we find ourselves standing in the rain and paying the price for our own stubbornness.
Sometimes we just need to get to the point. The letter to Galatia starts off very brief. Paul normally writes his greeting with listing who is with him. In this letter he simply states in 1:2, “and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:”. Some commentaries read into this to consider that he is very upset and not interested in pleasantries. Who knows for sure but based on the nature of the full letter this could be the case. The Galatians were off their rocker and Paul had no time to waste. He needed to rebuke them and get them off the false gospel they were following of works and onto the correct gospel he taught them at first, the one of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Getting the general population to be misled is a primary goal of the devil. He has roamed this earth for thousands of years plotting and scheming. To say he is not a master mind at manipulation and misleading would be an absurdity. He has had plenty of time to perfect the art of deception. If Paul, 2000 years ago was writing in an urgent manner because his people had started to follow false teachings, you would think we would be all the more urgent in our imploring our brothers and sisters today to get reconciled to God. The opposite is true. It is a scary thing to consider even Christ’s own ambassadors may get sucked into Satan’s distractions and lead even us astray. Hold fast to what you were taught at the beginning. Remember your salvation. Remember your fire and passion for Christ. Don’t let that die. Don’t let others tell you that you are too bold or that you need to temper yourself. Fight for Christ. Learn all you can. Be the best advocate you can and say “NO” to the one trying to derail you.
In Galatians 1:5 (ESV) Paul writes, “to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” This is the glorious doxology. We see this over and over again in the bible. To God be the glory! Forever! In light of his intro describing who he is and what the good news is concerning Christ, Paul is placing a clear statement to the misguided church of Galatia that giving God glory and praise should be at the top of everyone’s priority list. The word “amen” at the conclusion of his opening means the statement is true and trustworthy. Many people use the phrase “so be it” as the meaning of amen, but the Galatians would have known it to mean “truth” sort of when someone says today “preach it” or an emphatic statement by saying the word “truth!” on its own. What, then, is the ultimate truth? God deserves now and forever more the glory which is a true and right statement. Nothing could be more right or true. While we might be inclined to blindly agree with that statement, what exactly is glory?
Glory means honor, it means magnificent splendor and beauty, it means respect. To give glory to God means to give importance to Him over all other things. I sit here knowing in my head this is true, knowing in my heart this is true. To GOD be the glory. But then there is again… my worldly flesh constantly gnawing at my soul saying NO I WANT TO BE IN CHARGE! How insidious. How irritating. But then sometimes I let it. I let it in. I can feel the slip. LORD help me. LORD deliver me. To YOU be the glory. To YOU be everything. I long for humility. To be nothing not only in front of you but to be nothing when I am at my worst. To be nothing when my flesh cries the battle cry of “Unfair!” and “I am right!” and “I deserve that!” All these are selfishness in it’s pure form. Selfishness my soul wants no part in yet my flesh screams and stomps its feet in protest to have. There is beauty in the battle. Beauty in the process. I have come to look back with loving affection at the hard trials I have gone through and have resolved to remember them when I go through the next one. With each trial I come closer to the goal. The goal of complete humility and the full, pure holy cry, TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Galatians 1:1 ESVPaul, an apostle- not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead-
Paul was appointed by Jesus to be an apostle and has God-granted authority to share a message that is centered around Jesus. The title “apostle” means he has God-given authority. He was given this authority directly from Jesus himself. Paul is one of the most controversial writers of the New Testament. Because of this, scholars have tried to discredit him, but we must remember that as a God-ordained apostle he has the authority to deliver the message of Christ. We must respect and listen to his words even if they are hard, as often times they are.
We, as followers of Christ, must remember to look at the Bible as written by God and not by man. Yes, man is fallible, but God inspired man to write what he wrote. All scripture is breathed out by God. We, like Paul are given work to do for and through God. This work is a privilege, not a burden or something we think we will get to later when we have more time. He has asked us to study, and know, and follow, and love, and be committed to Him first. He has asked us to share with others the gospel. He has asked us to do a lot of things and we need to uphold that as our personal God-given job description. All our work as sacred. Even our jobs that pays our bills because we can witness through it and be a major light to hundreds if not thousands of people. We need to be fully CONVINCED and CONVICTED that our work, whatever that may be, has been given to us by God himself, because it has!