Welcome to the first day of our Galatians study! I am so glad you are here and I pray this study is a blessing to you. Let’s dive on in!
Chapter 1 of Galatians can be broken down into 3 parts - a greeting, a rebuke, and Paul’s calling by God. I am going to skip the greeting because it is pretty standard for an epistle, and jump right to the rebuke.
As usual, Paul does not mince words here. He is ASTONISHED that the churches in Galatia have so quickly deserted the gospel of Christ. Ouch. As a new church receiving this letter from Paul, that must have hurt!
You may have wondered what it is these churches have deserted, so here's a little background. During the building of the early church there were some serious growing pains - which, given the 2 groups involved, is completely understandable. On one hand we have the Jews who accepted Christ and began to follow The Way. They brought with them their Jewish background, traditions and culture which was their identity.
On the other hand, we have the gentile believers who had no experience or understanding of the laws and traditions that were so important to the Jewish believers. So, some Jewish believers began to teach that gentiles needed to become Jews before they could be part of the church. This was the gospel Paul was referring to when he asked if the churches were seeking to please man or God. Christ never taught the need for gentiles to convert - that was something people were adding to the gospel which changed it completely.
Following his rebuke, Paul goes on to remind them of his conversion story. Why? Because he is reminding them that his teachings are straight from the source. He was called by God and received instructions from Christ, not men.
Next week we will see Paul continue to retell his story, as well as give us the theme of Galatians - that we, as Christians, are justified by faith alone and we ware all equal in the eyes of God.