1Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
2And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
3Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
4Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
5To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8But 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.
9As 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.
10For 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.
11But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
14And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
15But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
16To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
17Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
18Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
19But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.
20Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.
21Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;
22And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:
23But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.
24And they glorified God in me.
Today's Scripture Meaning
The apostle Paul asserts his apostolic character against such as lessened it. (1-5) He reproves the Galatians for revolting from the gospel of Christ under the influence of evil teachers. (6-9) He proves the Divine authority of his doctrine and mission; and declares what he was before his conversion and calling. (10-14) And how he proceeded after it. (15-24)
Verses 1-5: St. Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ; he was expressly appointed by him, consequently by God the Father, who is one with him in respect of his Divine nature, and who appointed Christ as Mediator. Grace, includes God's good-will towards us, and his good work upon us; and peace, all that inward comfort, or outward prosperity, which is really needful for us. They come from God the Father, as the Fountain, through Jesus Christ. But observe, first grace, and then peace; there can be no true peace without grace. Christ gave himself for our sins, to make atonement for us: this the justice of God required, and to this he freely submitted. Here is to be observed the infinite greatness of the price bestowed, and then it will appear plainly, that the power of sin is so great, that it could by no means be put away except the Son of God be given for it. He that considers these things well, understands that sin is a thing the most horrible that can be expressed; which ought to move us, and make us afraid indeed. Especially mark well the words, "for our sins." For here our weak nature starts back, and would first be made worthy by her own works. It would bring him that is whole, and not him that has need of a physician. Not only to redeem us from the wrath of God, and the curse of the law; but also to recover us from wicked practices and customs, to which we are naturally enslaved. But it is in vain for those who are not delivered from this present evil world by the sanctification of the Spirit, to expect that they are freed from its condemnation by the blood of Jesus.
Verses 6-9: Those who would establish any other way to heaven than what the gospel of Christ reveals, will find themselves wretchedly mistaken. The apostle presses upon the Galatians a due sense of their guilt in forsaking the gospel way of justification; yet he reproves with tenderness, and represents them as drawn into it by the arts of some that troubled them. In reproving others, we should be faithful, and yet endeavour to restore them in the spirit of meekness. Some would set up the works of the law in the place of Christ's righteousness, and thus they corrupted Christianity. The apostle solemnly denounces, as accursed, every one who attempts to lay so false a foundation. All other gospels than that of the grace of Christ, whether more flattering to self-righteous pride, or more favourable to worldly lusts, are devices of Satan. And while we declare that to reject the moral law as a rule of life, tends to dishonour Christ, and destroy true religion, we must also declare, that all dependence for justification on good works, whether real or supposed, is as fatal to those who persist in it. While we are zealous for good works, let us be careful not to put them in the place of Christ's righteousness, and not to advance any thing which may betray others into so dreadful a delusion.
Verses 10-14: In preaching the gospel, the apostle sought to bring persons to the obedience, not of men, but of God. But Paul would not attempt to alter the doctrine of Christ, either to gain their favour, or to avoid their fury. In so important a matter we must not fear the frowns of men, nor seek their favour, by using words of men's wisdom. Concerning the manner wherein he received the gospel, he had it by revelation from Heaven. He was not led to Christianity, as many are, merely by education.
Verses 15-24: St. Paul was wonderfully brought to the knowledge and faith of Christ. All who are savingly converted, are called by the grace of God; their conversion is wrought by his power and grace working in them. It will but little avail us to have Christ revealed to us, if he is not also revealed in us. He instantly prepared to obey, without hesitating as to his worldly interest, credit, ease, or life itself. And what matter of thanksgiving and joy is it to the churches of Christ, when they hear of such instances to the praise of the glory of his grace, whether they have ever seen them or not! They glorify God for his power and mercy in saving such persons, and for all the service to his people and cause that is done, and may be further expected from them.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of Galatianswith Chapter 1 and in our text we see Paul speaking of the authenticity of the Gospel as being from God but others proclaimed of a different Gospel of one of works and performance. In making application we see that the Gospel has not changed. We are still saved by grace through faith in the finished work of Calvary but today many preach a different, non Biblical, false gospel of faith + works or adding or deleting from the Bible. How about you? Have you responded to the Gospel of the Bible? Let us learn from our text today to see that is only one way to Heaven, and it is the Gospel of the Bible that says we are saved by grace through faith and not of works lest any man should boast.
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Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.