Galatians 1:1-6


The letter to the Galatians was written between 58-60 AD. It was written to the churches in Galatia, which was a region located in Asia Minor. The main reason for the writing was that Judaizers had come to this area stating that salvation was obtainable but it was necessary for them to keep the law of Moses to achieve that salvation. Paul’s response was this letter stating that it was not necessary to keep the law for salvation otherwise grace would not be grace, it would be by works which is the righteousness of man and the imputation of the righteousness of God. (Phil 3:9 KJV) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: No one can ever become saved by their own righteousness, simply because man does not have righteousness before salvation. What they have is self-righteousness which is otherwise known as pride.
This epistle is also known as the Magna Charta of the Church which focuses upon Christian liberty, not the type of liberty where one feels they can do anything they want, but the liberty from having to keep the law for salvation. Christ’s sacrifice was the end of the law to all those who believe. (Rom 10:4 KJV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Galatians is basically an apologetic for grace. The law is not criticized here but it teaches that the keeping of the law is not required for salvation, since there is no human on earth that can keep the law perfectly. The Judaizers, however, insisted that keeping the law was an essential part of God’s plan of salvation.
Gal 1:1 (KJB)
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
Apostle - One who is sent (there are no apostles today in the sense of God speaking verbally but every believer is an apostle because we are sent to send forth the Gospel)
By - Through
Paul begins this epistle by stating his divinely appointed qualifications. He states immediately that he is an apostle not from men, that is, he was not selected from a group of men by a group of men for this office. He also states that he did not come through man either, in other words, he is stating that he was not born into this office as one is born into a lineage of royalty. Paul is stating that his office came through the Lord Jesus Christ, as with all believers, Paul was in the spiritual lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only in the spiritual line of the Lord Jesus Christ but God the Father also. (2 John 1:9 KJV) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. This verse ends up with the fact that God the Father raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrection, then and now, has always been denied and denigrated, so Paul includes it here to insure that his readers know that the resurrection of Christ was a definite fact of history.
Gal 1:2 (KJB)
And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
Paul sends greeting not only from himself but from all the brethren that are with him from wherever he wrote that epistle. It is believed that he wrote either from Antioch or Rome, but where he wrote it from is quite academic, the fact that God gave it to us is the important thing.
Gal 1:3 (KJB)
Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul gives his usual greeting to both groups of people. The Jews would have responded to “peace” which we know as “Shalom.” The Gentiles would have responded to “the greeting of “grace.” Yet, both groups would have understood the greetings since both groups would have either experienced grace or tried to combine it with law. The greeting comes from the both God the Father and God the Son. The Bible is the Word of God, so when you read these greetings, read them not as if Paul or Peter or whomever is greeting the readers but God Himself is greeting you as you read His Word.
Gal 1:4 (KJB)
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:
Deliver - Tear out, pluck out, or take out
Will - Purpose or determination
This is a key passage for Christians. Here the passage specifically states that Christ gave Himself for our sins. The Judaizers were still believing that the temple system was still in force and that animal sacrifices would be able to cover the sins. The fact is that animal sacrifices could never take away sins. (Heb 10:4 KJV) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. This is because the temple system was only a foreshadow of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ who would be the final sacrifice for sin. (Heb 9:26 KJV) For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. No man on earth could die for the sins of another, so the sacrifice would have to have been of divine nature and that is why we read here that the Lord Jesus gave Himself for our sins, or else if He did not, then there would be no Elect and no salvation. He was not forced into it but willingly gave Himself. Then the verse goes on to state that since Christ gave Himself for His people, He would deliver them from the present evil world. Now this does not mean He would take us out by death or rapture us into heaven, it means that He would cause a separation between His people and the people of the world. I am sure that many of have heard the saying “we are in the world but not of the world.” It means we remain a separated people in this world until our time here is gone, either by home going or the end of the world. This deliverance is not something abstract but is done according to the plan or will of God. This means that God has planned to separate a people for Himself in this present evil world. (John 1:12-13 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: {13} Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Gal 1:5 (KJB)
To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Paul ends his greeting stating that all glory goes to the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father. The plan of God for salvation is grace and God must get the glory for this and not man, this is why the free will gospel takes away the glory from God and places it upon the individual who boasts “I made Jesus Lord of my Life.” You can’t make Jesus do anything, you are flesh and He is God, He tells you what to do!
Gal 1:6 (KJB)
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Marvel - Astonished or amazed
Removed - Carry over, exchanged, changed, or carry over
Another - Other or different (Denotes a generic distinction)
Paul immediately gets into the meat of the message. He chides the Galatians for being so quickly carried over to the Judaizer’s gospel. In fact, Paul is even astonished at the shortness of time it took for them to accept this different gospel. It would be like a church that believes water baptism can save and then they come to the truth of grace alone, but then, the following week they are back to teaching salvation through water baptism again. Sometimes a persuasive tongue is all it takes to derail some churches or Christians. This situation is also prevalent today. How many churches have taught the true gospel for many years and then all of a sudden you walk in and they are accepting tongues and signs. Paul chides them because the Galatians knew that salvation is by grace and grace alone. These Judaizers had come to them and added works to God’s salvation program. Obviously these teachers were not saved people because if they were, then they would know that nothing could be added to God’s plan of salvation. It also shows a serious deficiency in the leadership at the church of Galatia, since they easily allowed these false teachers an audience. If there is one thing we must never do, and that is, give false teachers an audience, whether it be by voice or by the written word as both can be devastatingly destructive. Many Christians today have exchanged the true gospel for a false gospel, whether it be tongues, date setting, or any other diversion and have been derailed to the point they are no longer witnessing for the truth but fighting against it.