Gal 1:1-5 “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 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: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Paul makes several important points in the opening verses of this chapter. First, he identifies himself as one who is an apostle. Strong’s defines the word translated “apostle” as “a delegate; specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”), (with miraculous powers).” Paul introduces himself as one who is “a minister of the highest rank employed by one prince or state, at the court of another, to manage the public concerns of his own prince or state, and representing the power and dignity of his sovereign (see Webster’s 1828 dictionary).”
Paul makes sure that the churches of Galatia understand that he was not commissioned by some body of men, such as the Sanhedrin, to write unto them. He assures them that he was not asked by another of the apostles, such as Peter or James. He is further assuring them that he has not just decided on his own to undertake this writing. He is acting as an ambassador of Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised up Jesus from the dead. Paul is taking up this writing as a representative of his true Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
He further assures the churches of Galatia that he is not alone in this undertaking. All the brethren that are with him are in support of this undertaking. Paul is letting these churches know that there are many who are concerned about their well-being. We should take care in our communication with God’s people whether by spoken word or written word.
Without entering into any debate about whether or not there are still apostles today, I will say that all that are called to minister in the name of the Lord have a responsibility to be ambassadors of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are never to represent our own interests or to appear that we account ourselves as anything other than a minister (servant) sent by the grace and power of Him who raised up Jesus from the dead.
Whether we have been given words of encouragement or words of correction, our desire should always be to handle it with both grace and peace from God. Even words of correction, when sent from God, are full of grace and peace because they save us from continuing in some errant behavior. We don’t deserve His attention to our walk; that is His daily grace in our lives. When we are corrected by His counsel, there is a great peace that replaces the unease of walking in paths of error or uncertainty.
We need to always remind and assure the church that Jesus gave Himself for our sins. Paul recognized that, even though he had been called to be an ambassador, he was still a sinner. In like manner, when we are blessed to share the word of God with the church, we need to remember that His word is just as applicable to us as it is to those we are blessed to share with.
He has delivered us from our sins, and from this present evil world. God’s grace and peace is sufficient for our present circumstance. A thousand years from now, His grace and peace will still be sufficient for the present circumstance of His church. His daily deliverance will never fail. God works according to His own holy will: no device of man will ever cause God to second-guess Himself.
May we, the church and the ambassadors of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the church, give Him glory for ever and ever!