The ministry that ensued after the resurrection changed the world. Christ’s sacrifice and defeat of death bridged the gap between a Holy God and sinful people. In addition, it changed the relationship between God and man from a national relationship between God and Israel, His chosen people, to God and anyone that would accept the free gift of salvation offered by our Lord.
With such a substantial change, God used the Apostles to spread the good news to the world. The Apostle Paul was instrumental in the spreading of God’s word to the Gentiles. Ironically, Paul was the poster child of the perfect Jew. He was trained by Gamaliel, the ultimate Rabbi. He was flawless in his knowledge and practice of Judaism and He was a warrior against the early church.
God, as He often does, took the least likely candidate and used Him in a mighty way. While Paul was spreading the Gospel throughout Europe and Asia, many Jewish leaders in the church hated Him. They thought Christianity was a Jewish religion and one should have to act Jewish to receive the gift. Paul, the champion for Christ to the gentile world, was not one of Jesus’ original disciples and what’s more, He was telling people that they only needed to follow Jesus. They did not even have to be circumcised – the hallmark of the Jewish nation.
We are going to look at the letters of Paul written to those churches in the next several weeks. In the letters, Paul lays out the practical truths of how one is not only justified by God’s grace, but also how Christians operate in a world of sin and death with the newfound grace and freedom offered by the Lord. We recently looked at Paul’s letter to the Romans and also the two letters that were written to the Church in Corinth. So, we will focus on the remaining letters by Paul. We will also look at the letters of James, Peter, and John. Finally, we will wrap up with the letter to the Hebrews.
These letters are a very practical guide on how to live in this broken world. They are also a reminder that the issues we face as Christians are ones that people of faith have struggled with for thousands of years. Hold on tight, this is going to be great fun.
God Bless You
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 [a]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 [b]age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
Perversion of the Gospel
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you [c]by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing 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 [d]contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be [e]accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel [f]contrary to what you received, he is to be [g]accursed!
10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.