Summary: Man would never write a book about how sinful and wretched he is. The Bible will always point us to our need for a Savior, and Paul reminds the church in Galatia of this critical fact that many of them have seemed to have forgotten!
There is no other Gospel
Galatians, Part 1
- Background: The churches in Galatia were formed partly of converted Jews and partly of Gentile converts. Paul asserts his apostolic character and the doctrines he taught, that he might confirm the Galatian churches in the faith of Christ, especially with respect to the important point of justification by faith alone.
- Galatians challenges us to look deeper at ourselves and our purpose
-- By way of introduction, we are going to jump into and unpack this book together
- The author is obviously Paul, and the purpose of this letter is three fold:
1. To teach the right message
2. To correct incorrect doctrine
3. To point us to Christ in everything that we do
- Paul’s writings normally have the same theme: to instruct and correct
-- If the message doesn't glorify Christ, we must examine what’s being said
- Galatians was not written as an essay in contemporary history
-- It was a protest against the corruption of the gospel of Jesus Christ – period!
-- APP: Once we understand that; we are able to see his intent and mission
- Read Galatians 1:1-10
∆ Point 1 – Why is this written? (1-5)
- Paul begins (as always) by identifying himself as the author of this letter
-- But notice his wording ... Right up front he says he isn't from man
- This is very important to the reader of the time ... Since they are being deceived
-- He clearly identifies that he is not just another guy, but he is sent from God
- I am not just a traveling evangelist …
-- I am not just another person trying to make a buck …
-- I am not someone who thought he could blow into town …
- But, I am Paul, a servant of Jesus and to Him I owe everything that I am
-- Paul’s mission is clear; he is sent of God (implication: Do others say that?)
-- This is the first indicator that these people are being deceived
- Why? Most likely, those who are "leading" are not proclaiming Jesus Christ
-- But, they are proclaiming some false religion and calling it Christianity
-- Paul’s confession of who he represents is critical: It’s his resume; credentials
-- APP: Our understanding this is also critical: It’s God’s word being affirmed
- V3 - Grace is something that is only given by God through Jesus (note: “from”)
-- It is not trivial, nor is it flippant ... It is salvation! It’s a gift delivered from God
-- 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
- V4 – Paul confirms that it is Jesus who has given His life in exchange for ours
-- The confession is very clear ... It is instruction for all and for some, rebuke
-- APP: God has given new life to all that will accept it … as only God can
- The tone of this letter to the reader should begin to stir their hearts
-- It should have the same effect today … the heart should be changed by it
-- It is in this reading that we see Paul's very clear, unmistakable confession
-- “God has given us everything we need by giving Himself for us”
- V5 – “… to whom be the glory for ever and ever, Amen.” (let it be so)
-- When Christians hear things like that, it should act like a battle cry for us
-- It is not a gloss by it statement, but one of sincere, honest conviction/purpose
-- IMP: Paul’s declaration captures his entire mission … do we say the same?
- TRANS: So we have the why, now … what is the “what?” of this letter?
∆ Point 2 - There is no other Gospel (6-9)
- Paul is astonished and shocked that these people have been swayed so easily
-- These people are in a church, claim to be saved by Christ, yet have changed (v6)
-- And now they are now listening to preaching that isn't about Christ at all
- If you need a real world application to this today consider this:
-- If the message is not salvation by Grace because of Christ: It is in error!
-- Put another way: If the message being preached is not about YOUR repentance because God is a Holy and Righteous God who gave His Son for you, you are not hearing the truth (see v3 … from God because and Christ)
- This is the exact position that these people are now in in Galatia
-- TJ paraphrase: "I can't believe how easily you have been fooled by this trash ..."