I am an Apostle Chosen by Christ
by Jonathan Bailey
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: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
This is one of the first letters ever written by Paul to the newly established Jesus communities. Paul is in a tough spot. People are giving him a bunch of crap because they don’t believe him to be a ‘true’ apostle of Jesus. I mean think about it. He wasn’t a disciple called by Jesus, he is not from Jerusalem, and he doesn’t know any of the apostles. So the town and cities in the Galatian region are starting to be convinced by others that maybe Paul is not quite as authoritative as he claimed. Maybe the whole thing about circumcision and uncircumcision is something he has invented to make it easier for Gentiles to become followers of Jesus.
That is why Paul makes this bold statement. I am not sent through any agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father. He is saying, I was called by Jesus Christ himself. I may not have been one of the original twelve, but nevertheless I was still called out by Jesus for this work.
I love verse 4. “who gave Himself for our sins SO THAT he might rescue us from hell in the coming age. Did I make a mistake there? I think I did. He says that Jesus gave Himself for our sins for a reason. Not just to forgive our sins. Although that is included, but to rescue us from this PRESENT EVIL AGE. We live in a wicked world full of wicked people, like me and you. And Jesus died for our sins so that He could deliver us from pride, evil, lust, greed, and self-will NOW. Not from some future reality to come, but NOW.
I thanks Jesus that we don’t have to sit around waiting for rescue. Jesus wants to rescue us NOW! As we listen to Jesus and learn from Him we can begin the process of salvation and deliverance from the sin in our bodies.
What an opener to the letter! The Galatian Jesus communities must have been floored when they read the intro. I know I was. This is a great start to the letter. We will pick up with the rest later. I don’t want to write too much. It is annoying trying to read a long blog posts. So I will stop NOW.
Seek the Kingdom,