GALATIANS 1: 1-5
1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me,
To the churches in Galatia:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Paul has a unique emphasis in the opening of his letter to the church in Galatia. In no other letter from Paul does he include this emphasis that he is sent from God and not from men. This is a theme that will continue to develop in this first chapter.
(Want to dig deeper? Look for this theme to repeat itself in 1:10-12 and 1: 15-16. You can also compare this opening to Paul’s introductions in Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians and note how it is different.)
Now let’s take a closer look at verse 4:
[Jesus] gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age.
Take a look at what happens when you flip the order of this verse:
To rescue us from this present evil age, Jesus gave himself for our sins.
To rescue us from this present evil age, Jesus didn’t rescue us from our circumstances. He rescued us from our sins. You and I don’t need to be rescued from our circumstances. We need to be rescued from our sins!
Paul is not writing to offer a worldly solution. He is writing to point people to the one true solution, the one true source of rescue, the one true way to find grace and peace in this present evil age: Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins.
Here’s a few questions to think about:
What are some worldly solutions that other people have offered to try and make life better?
How does Jesus provide a rescue that is uniquely different than anything the world can offer?
What is an area of your life where you need to experience rescue from Jesus?
In verse 3, Paul writes, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” What is an area of your life where you need to experience the grace and peace that comes only from God?