August 29th Galatians, 1
1: Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 2: And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4: Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 6: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8: 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. 9: 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. 10: For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Paul begins his letter to the churches of Galatia with an introduction of himself. First of all we notice that in this letter he is keen to establish his apostolic authority. Secondly he points out right at the beginning that he has not been appointed by men or by any man except by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead. Paul is going to address the heresy of the Judaisers and so therefore his emphasis is on the resurrection. He is going to show that Christians are dead, buried and risen in Christ, to live a life in the resurrection power of Christ and therefore they have no relation to the Mosaic law anymore. Then we see that this letter is addressed not to one church but to the Churches of Galatia. This area of Turkey had been populated by people that had come from France. They are described by historians as sensual, legalistic and prone to complete changes of mind. Pauls greeting is extended to say something about Christ’s ministry of deliverance from this present evil world. Then Paul begins straightaway by saying I am amazed that you have moved away from Christ, who called you into the Grace of God, into another ‘gospel’. Which actually is not good news at all, but there are some people who have confused you and who wish to pervert the Gospel of Christ. This letter addresses the question of legalistic obedience to the Mosaic Law. Paul calls this a perversion of the Gospel of the grace of God. Even if we, or even if an angel from heaven came to you and preached a different Gospel from what we preached unto you, We say in the name of the Lord – Let him be accursed. I want to say that again says Paul, to make sure you remember it, If any man preach any other Gospel than we preached to you then let him be accursed. Does it sound like I am trying to please Men or God? Am I seeking to please the brethren? Let me say says Paul if I were trying to please men then I would not be the servant of Christ. He is my master – and I seek to please him.