Introduction: Paul’s letter to the Galatians is a vigorous attack against the “gospel of works” and a defense of the “gospel of faith.”
Paul wrote this epistle in response to a report that the Galatian churches were suddenly taken over by false teachings of certain Judaizers who professed Jesus yet sought to place Gentile converts under the requirements of the Mosaic Law.
Verse 1 – Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),
Verse 2 – and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia:
Verse 3 – Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,
Verse 4 – who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
Verse 5 – to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen.
Paul is about to make it very clear in this letter that, salvation is by grace, not works. If salvation is by works, man gets the glory; if salvation is by grace, God gets the glory.
Verse 6 – I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
When people set up additional requirements for salvation, they deny the power of Christ’s death on the cross.
Verse 7 – which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
Verse 8 – But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Regardless of what other religions boast, there is only one way to Jesus Christ, and only one way to the Father, and that is through Jesus Christ. John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Verse 9 – As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
Verse 10 – For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Paul is talking as a minister of God, not as an employee trying to please their boss, or a child trying to please their parents. When we minister, are we saying what pleases man or God? Meaning, do we speak the truth?
Verse 11 – But I make known to you brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
Verse 12 – For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught of it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Meaning: Paul’s words were more than his own ideas.
Verse 13 – For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.
Verse 14 – And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
Paul had been one of the most religious Jews of his day, keeping the law and relentlessly persecuting Christians. Paul had been sincere in his zeal, but wrong.
Verse 15 – But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace,
Verse 16 – to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,
Verse 17 – nor did I go to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
When Paul says, “I did not confer with flesh and blood,” he means he didn’t discuss and then have to decide to be obedient with anyone or even himself. He resolved at once to follow the command of the Savior, and obey Him.
Verse 18 – Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.
Verse 19 – But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
Verse 20 – (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God I do not lie.)
Verse 21 – Afterward I went into regions of Syria and Cilicia;
Verse 22 – and I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ.
Verse 23 – But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.”
Verse 24 – And they glorified God in me.
Paul had been miraculously changed from being a persecutor of Christians to a Christian himself. We know from reading the Book of Acts what type of man he was before he met Jesus.
Do people see an obvious change in your life, compared to what you were before you met Jesus? Paul’s life is an excellent example of a changed life. If you don’t see a total transformation of a person’s life, then maybe they are just, “impostors.” There has to be evidence when someone is born-again!