I'm going through Galatians slowly on my own and just studying it for what it is. I've never studied a book in the bible intricately on my own before. I have through sermons and studies with groups etc. I'm not a bible scholar. I've not gone to bible school for this so of course I'm sure I may be missing quite a few things but it's always awesome to see what the Lord opens my eyes to.
Galatians Chapter 1 Versus 1 & 2
1- Paul, an apostle- sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. 2- and all the brothers and sisters with me, To the churches in Galatia.
Paul is identified as an apostle here which is a chosen follower of Christ. If you are not familiar with who Paul is and how he was chosen by God, you can find his transformation story in Acts Chapter 9. I love the fact that God chose Paul to be an apostle and used him drastically in the spreading of the news of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote almost half of the new testament (13 out of 27 books). Before he met Christ, he was nothing but a sinner in this world heading straight for eternal destruction. He was a murderer and of Christians for that matter. It still astonishes me that God used an unwilling man to further and better his kingdom. Just stopping for a second and thinking about that gives me the chills.. That is one of my favorite things about the Lord is he chooses to use us for his good even we are unwilling or even with little or no desire to be used. This is a great example of not only his power to be able to transform a heart instantly but also a direct reflection of his heart as he doesn't look upon us with hatred and worthlessness but with love and value to himself. He wants to rescue us and wants us to come to him and allow him to change our hearts. I do not believe that love ever stops. He loves his people in whom he created. He wants our attention and wants us to reach our full potential as his creation. Ephesians 1:4 says, "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight." Even though we are sinners God will continue to transform our hearts to be like his- which is how he created us to be. The next part says that he was not sent from men or by man but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead. I think this is a good imagery of the trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Since God the Father, raised Jesus Christ from the dead we are now able to have the Holy Spirit working in us as a transformer and mediator. The holy spirit is what works in and through us to guide and direct us as well as change us internally. In verse two he says "and all the brothers and sisters with me, to the churches in Galatia" he is speaking of all the men and women who share in the acceptance and joy of the gospel that is Jesus Christ. He is writing this book in particular to the churches in Galatia.
Regarding the Churches of Galatia in this time:
"His readers knew the gospel. Yet they had willingly accepted a false gospel of human effort. So Paul looked in some detail at what the law can and cannot do. It cannot save. It cannot bring righteousness. It cannot provide any power at all, just a list of dos and don'ts. Only the Holy Spirit provides the power to keep the law." - quoted directly from my Zondervan bible.
It's crazy to think how even as Christians we still struggle with this mind set at times. We don't always get it that it's by grace that we have been saved. There is absolutely nothing we can do to win God's favor. We just need to rest in the truth that it's by his love and grace alone that we are able to have a relationship with him and be a part of his eternal promise. I'm just humbled by the fact that God chooses to love me each day no matter how much of a sucky daughter I am. His love will never fail us.