Paul Asserts His Apostleship: Galatians 1:1-2
“1) Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2) and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:” Galatians‬ ‭1:1-2‬ ‭
From the very first verse in the book of Galatians, Paul begins to defend his apostleship. He points out that his conversion and call was the work of God and not man. It is a reminder of his conversion and divine commission in Acts chapter nine. Jesus Himself had met Saul on the road to Damascus and converted and commissioned him for the gospel.
Keep in mind, the whole book of Galatians was a battle for the true gospel. Zealous Jewish teachers were combing the region and teaching that salvation involved faith in Christ but also keeping all the requirements of the Law. They were distorting and annulling the gospel of justification by faith as the sole basis of salvation.
Look ahead to Galatians 1:6-10. Paul recognized that many of the believers across Galatia were exchanging the true gospel of grace for a totally different gospel. They were confused and drifting away from Christ. They were being sucked into a life of legalism and self righteousness based on the Law that could not save them.
Just to clarify, though Jesus saves us unto good works, He does not save us by our good works. (Ephesians 2:8-10) We can add nothing to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to pay for our sins and purchase our salvation.
Saul as a former Pharisee was zealous for the Law. His testimony in Philippians 3:1-16 cuts to the quick of this battle between legalism and salvation through faith in Christ alone. Focus on verses 8-10. Paul abandoned self-righteous based on keeping the Law for a personal relationship with Christ that comes through faith. Over night he moved from being a persecutor of believers to a powerful preacher of the gospel.
His previous life as a Pharisee, former persecutor of the early Christians, conversion on the road to Damascus and call to be the Apostle to the Gentiles all come into focus in Galatians 1:1. Paul was laying out his credentials to speak on behalf of Christ to the churches across Galatia.
This Epistle was destined to be read, criticized, debated, studied and memorized by millions around the world. It has become a crucial defense and foundation stone of the gospel and the Christian faith. It is worthy of your serious attention and diligent study.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global