1Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),
2and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
4who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
5to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
So begins my study on the book of Galatians. According to the intro in my study bible, it is a letter that explains justification through faith, not works. The letter was written for “Judaizers”: converted Jews who still thought they must perform for God to achieve righteousness instead of simply believing and accepting Christ’s atonement and forgiveness.
Paul’s opening explanation of himself makes me think of the applications today. Priests, pastors, elders, and the like are appointed by God. I should clarify that I mean those that are obviously appointed by God. Man can give another man any title, but if they are truly called and designated by God, then man has nothing to do with it. Think about your current pastor, who made him a pastor? To break it down a little bit, who should be in charge to pick someone to represent yourself? Would you not want to pick them? Or would you have someone else do it? The obvious answer is that we would want to pick a representative ourselves, would we not? So then also does God pick people to represent Him.
The point of this is that unless God wants us to be a part of something, we won’t be. There is NOTHING we can do Either to ourselves or to others to earn anything from God. So then, who are we to question the authority of our leaders and pastors and elders? But what if there is corruption, which is inherent in this world? Certainly, even God appointed leaders aren’t perfect because they are still human. Any leader in the bible had his downfall. I love my pastor’s instruction for this, “if you have a problem with your leaders, pray for them.” It’s much harder than you’d think. It’s usually a stressful, thankless, and very difficult position, regardless the capacity. (http://tinyurl.com/3nf6nl7)
The remainder of Paul’s greeting is simple and to the point. Jesus Christ died for our sins willingly so that we could be freed from our worldly selves and have a relationship with Him. He gets all the glory. That’s the Message. The Gospel remains the same throughout all of these letters, even though they are written by different people.
Even though it is repeated many times throughout the New Testament, we still try to put our own spin on it and put ourselves back in the picture. Did that say anything about us doing anything? No, God did it all. People say “nothing is free in this world.” You’re right, but in the Kingdom, Salvation is free for all who receive it.
What are you trying to do?