“1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (KJV).
The apostle Paul opens his letter by establishing his authority and office as an apostle. He sets the record straight by letting the churches’ know that he did not give himself the title of apostle, but was appointed by Jesus himself. There were multiple churches’ at Galatia and Paul was troubled by the discord that fell among them. The churches’ were teaching a different gospel message; in verse 6 Paul states that he is “marveled” at the short amount of time it took for the churches’ to dilute and distort the truth. He quickly identifies that there are some among them that are agitating or stirring up trouble.
Not only does Paul address the problem with preaching false teachings, but he takes the time to identify and call out the ones causing the problems. I found it interesting that Paul did not just stop there; he dug down deep and explains why these trouble makers were causing problems. They were trying to please men, using the same techniques we see today. People trying to convince, sway, and influence others in order to gain acceptance and recognition. Paul did not just turn the cheek and walk away when these trouble makers were spreading rumors that he was not an apostle. He stood his ground and addressed the problem by proclaiming His truth.
Today we have the same behavior inside the church walls, people trying to gain recognition: by justifying their sinful actions, talking behind people’s backs, or spreading false rumors. I believe Paul teaches us a few valuable lessons here. First, we must be careful about how we talk about others. Second, we must ensure that what we say is grounded in biblical truth and delivered with love. Third, we should not be afraid to speak and share His truth. Paul did not hold back speaking the true gospel, he identified the problem, addressed those who were spreading the rumors and teaching false doctrine, as well as why they were doing it. Paul teaches us to stand up for our Christian faith… we do that by staying true to His word.
Lord, grant us the strength to stand upon your word; teach, counsel, and preach your truth in love. I pray others will see your love and grace through our actions. I pray we will all continue to fight the good fight, living for your honor and glory…Amen.
The Silent Preacher