After identifying himself as the writer of the letter to the Galatians,
Paul describes himself as an apostle.
In the Greek language, the word apostle means one who is sent on a mission with a message.
Paul emphatically writes that no group of men or a man sent him, but it was Jesus Christ and God the Father who sent him.
Paul’s message was given to him directly from Jesus (Acts 20:24; Galatians 1:11; Ephesians 3:2-4).
What was the message Jesus gave him?
The message given to him by Jesus was the gospel of grace (Acts 20:24).
The gospel of grace is everything God, in his kindness, has done for us in Jesus to forgive our sins, make us righteous, create peace between himself and us, bring us to life, and reconcile us to himself, resulting in salvation.
Included in Paul’s message was that the law of Moses (Ten Commandments) increased sin (Romans 5:20) and brought condemnation (Romans 7:14-25), resulting in people seeing their sin and need for Jesus.
Thus, according to Paul, the law was a tutor, educating people about their sin for the purpose of leading them to faith in Jesus, the one who loved them and died for their sin (Galatians 2:19-21; 3:23-25).
After coming to faith in Jesus, a person was not under law but under grace (Galatians 3:25).
Under grace, a person lives by the Spirit of Jesus in his heart, and not by the law (Galatians 5:18).
The Spirit produces love in the heart of a person, thus, no need for a law (Galatians 5:22-23).
The Spirit enables a person to call God “Abba, Father”, meaning a love relationship with God as Father, which is the same relationship Jesus has with the Father (Galatians 4:4-6).
The mission Jesus gave Paul was to take the message of grace into cities all over the world and to establish grace-based churches (Acts 20:23-24; 2 Corinthians 4:15).
Churches would become communication and education centers of grace within cities.
However, into whatever city Paul went, leaders passionate about the law of Moses were sent to challenge the message of grace, thus creating conflict in the church and causing the church family to resist Paul, reject grace, and return to the law of Moses.
This is exactly what happened in Galatia and is why Paul was emphatic that his message of grace and his mission to take grace into cities all over the world as an apostle was from Jesus and God the Father, and his message and mission was not from any group of men or a man.
And this is why Paul writes his letter to the Galatians...to clear up the confusion these law-based leaders caused and to implore the Galatians to return to grace.
To read other teachings on Galatians, click below: