I begin the study of another of Paul’s letters. The Letter to the Galatians was circulated to the house church gatherings in that city of Galatia, part of Ancient Greece and of modern day Turkey. The fellowships shared a kind of unity that is foreign to us. We have those same letters today, so we can submit to the same authority with which Paul wrote his letters.
Paul opens with a greeting that reasserts his authority to give the very words of God to them. His point? We can all experience God’s amazing plan of salvation. It’s not a church or a doctrine or a denomination that saves us; it’s the finished work of the Person of Jesus Christ.
“I, Paul, and my companions in faith here, send greetings to the Galatian churches. My authority for writing to you does not come from any popular vote of the people, nor does it come through the appointment of some human higher-up. It comes directly from Jesus the Messiah and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. I’m God-commissioned. So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace! We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God’s plan is that we all experience that rescue. Glory to God forever! Oh, yes!”
Galatians 1:1-5 MSG