Galatians | Week 1 | 1: 6-9

Galatians | Week 1 | 1: 6-9

[6] I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—[7] not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. [8] But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. [9] As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

(Galatians 1:6-9 ESV)

Well, here we go.

After a graceful greeting, Paul dives right into his rebuke of the Galatian churches. Paul is "astonished" that the church is deserting Jesus. Let's look at this carefully. From the context of the entirety of the book of Galatians, we never hear of the Galatian church denouncing Jesus, or their status as a church. Yet Paul says that they are deserting Jesus. Two prominent points stand out in this text.

First, what we believe truly matters. Since college, I've heard statements like, "Let's not split theological hairs" and "Just give me Jesus, and I don't need to dig into all the details." While I appreciate the effort to unify churches for the sake of the Kingdom, to deny the importance of what we believe denies Jesus altogether. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul writes an entire book dedicated to pointing the Galatian church in the correct theological direction. If we refuse to follow the rightly reveal God of the Bible, then we refuse God altogether.

Second, we see the importance of a healthy, well-worded rebuke. We don't like the word rebuke. It seems mean and insensitive. However, we need one another to help us see what we cannot see. What if Paul were to refuse the awkward conversation, and never write to the Galatians. Like a rifle aimed just millimeters off, down range the trajectory of the church would be much further off.

The word "disciple" literally means "learner." When we trust in Jesus, we enroll in the school of Jesus. Let's be diligent students, sitting at the feet of Jesus learning more of his goodness, kindness, and holiness.

Below you'll find excellent resources that can help refine and shape our theological understanding and grasp of the gospel. Here are several:

Scripture Memory

[10] For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

(Galatians 1:10 ESV)

Galatians | Week 1 | 1: 1-5

Galatians | Week 1 | 1: 1-5

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.

These were the words penned from General Eisenhower’s Order of the Day on June 5, 1944. As the soldiers and sailors geared up for D-day, this letter was distributed just hours before they landed in Normandy.

Letters are powerful. In a day of quick communication via text and social media, we know that the written letter provides a sense of urgency and earnestness. In the New Testament, a series of books comprise "the letters." These books shared encouragement and correction from the apostles to churches and individuals.

Galatians is one of those letters. Paul write the letter "to the churches of Galatia." He doesn't write to one specific local gathering, but rather to all of the churches of Galatian peoples. We need to have the same kind of Kingdom vision that Paul had. Northside church is a church, and not the church. We lock arms with like-minded churches with our dollars, prayers, and support in order to do more together.

Paul writes as an apostle. The word apostle means "one who is sent." Jesus chose Twelve Apostles for a unique, unrepeatable role in the history of redemption. In the broadest sense, yes, we are sent by Jesus to a broken world to share the gospel. However, in biblical terms, apostles are those disciples (or learners) called personally by Jesus to establish the first churches. John Piper has more helpful words on the topic of apostleship.

Paul's message first and foremost is one of grace and peace (verse 3). Before Paul delivers a sharp correction of an error in the church, he wants the church to know that his message is one of grace and peace. What a fine example to us! Whatever kind of correction we deliver - whether to an employee, friend, child, brother, teacher, coach, or supervisor, we must have a perspective of grace and peace. Our words should be charitable.

Ultimately, Paul's message is one rooted in the gospel of Jesus - the one who "gave himself for our sins to deliver us... (verse 4)." Paul's writing of the letter, as well as his entire ministry, was one that sought to bring glory to God (verse 5). As we follow Jesus, our lives should be for the glory of Christ. Singleness, marriage, parenthood, work, rest, recreation, finances, speech, and all of life is an opportunity to glorify the Lord.

Scripture Memory

[10] For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

(Galatians 1:10 ESV)