Summary: It is Paul's goal to see that Christians put Jesus where He belongs, and that is in the place of supreme authority.

A Christian school teacher offered a dollar to the one who could

give her the name of the most famous man in history. She wanted

them to say Jesus, of course. They all began to shout out names like

Washington, Lincoln, Edison, and Columbus, and finally a little

Jewish boy said Jesus. When he came up to get his dollar the teacher

asked him, "You are a Jewish boy, why did you say Jesus?" He said,

"I wanted to say Moses, but business is business."

Paul was under great pressure to choose Moses also as the

greatest authority in the realm of religion. The Judaisers demanded

it and were accusing him of error in not giving Moses his rightful

place. Paul, however, also felt that business was business and his

business was to exalt the Living Christ to the place of supreme

authority. The issue of authority was crucial to Paul and has been

ever since. John R. Stott wrote, "After the question of religion itself,

which involves the nature of God's being and activity, the next most

vital question is that of authority." It was a key issue in the life of

Jesus also. The people heard him gladly because he spoke with

authority and not as the scribes.

When Jesus was about to leave this earth he said, "All power in

heaven and on earth is given unto me..." The Greek word is exousia

which means authority. Jesus is the final and ultimate authority in

the universe. It is Paul's goal to see that Christians put Jesus where

He belongs, and that is in the place of supreme authority.

Sir Bernard Lovell, Prof. Of Radio Astronomy at the University of

Manchester tells of the financial troubles they had in construction

of the radio telescope at Jadrell Bank. One of his colleagues said to

him jokingly, "Why don't you issue a gramophone record with some

strange noises on it and claim that you have received messages from

intelligent beings on the planet Mars? The sales would be immense

and our financial problems at an end!" Dr Lovell responded that

our authority and careers in scientific research would also be at and

end." Any authority that cannot hold up under investigation will

collapse and that is why any ideas than men to endure has to be

supported by unimpeachable authority. That is why Paul begins his

letter to the Galatians by stating that his authority is not based on

the sand of human sources , bur on the solid rock of the will of Jesus

Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead.

Paul makes reference to the resurrection of Christ n this first

verse, not just because it is a precious truth, but because it is so

relevant to the battle he is fighting here. He wants to establish right

from the start that there is a great contrast between the authority of

those who oppose him and himself. His authority is not the dead

letter of the law, but the Living Lord. The Judaisers look to a book,

while he looks to the author of the book, and that is the risen Lord

who is guiding his people into new light. He has fulfilled the law and

now has a new and final revelation for his people.

Paul knew he had an advantage over his opponents because of the

Living Christ. They tried to make it sound like he could not be equal

with the 12 Apostles because he was not selected by Christ in his

earthly ministry. Paul countered that argument by reminding them

that he was the only Apostle selected by the risen and ascended

Lord. His was the only appointment made directly from heaven.

Imagine that your mother left you with a note to shovel the driveway

when you get home from school. And as you are getting ready to do

it she comes home and says never mind the neighbor is going to do it

with his power mower. Would you ignore the living revelation of this

change of plans, or would you persist in keeping the letter of the

law that you have in print? You would recognize that the note has

been made void and obsolete by the living voice of the author of it.

Paul's reference to the risen Christ is not incidental, but is a vital

factor in Paul's defense. It is the living authority of Christ as

opposed to the dead authority of Moses that is the issue here. The

mere claim is not enough in itself, however, for if it was we would be

obligated to listen to the authority of all the cults and false teachers

who make great claims to authority. Paul goes on and gives

evidence to support his claim. This whole letter is an appeal to the

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