Galatians (1)

Galatians 1:1:

1 Paul, an apostle, not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, the One raising Him from the dead,

Paul says that he was not an apostle through man, but through Jesus Christ. Now, is Paul denying that Jesus is a man since he said NOT through MAN, BUT through Jesus Christ? Of course not. For we know of other Scriptures where Paul acknowledges Christ’s humanity. For instance, in Philippians 2:5-8 Paul wrote:

”For think this within you, which mind was also in Christ Jesus, who subsisting in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, having become in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, having become obedient until death, even the death of a cross.”

Paul’s point in Galatians 1:1 is that he is not an apostle sent by a MERE man, but by a God-Man. That is, Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, as is clear from Philippians 2:5-8. These two natures (human and divine) are continually without confusion, without change, without division, and without separation:

1. There is only one man among the descendants of Adam born without a sinful nature, and this is Jesus of Nazareth, God the Son incarnate. He was born of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit, contracting no guilt or defilement from Adam. He was totally and completely without sin. [Isa 7:14; 53:9; Mat 1:25; Luk 1:31-35; 2Co 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26-27; 1Pe 2:22-23; 1Jo 3:5]

2. Jesus of Nazareth is really and truly God as well as really and truly human. He is the only descendant of Adam with two natures, human and divine. These two natures are continually without confusion, without change, without division, and without separation. Scripture rejects the lie that Jesus Christ was merely human and not fully divine. It likewise rejects the lie that Jesus Christ was a supernatural being but not fully human. [Deu 18:15; Psa 2:7; 110:1; Isa 9:6; Luk 2:7; Joh 1:1,14,18; 3:16,18; 5:18; 8:58; 10:30-33; Act 20:28; Rom 1:3; 1Co 15:47; Gal 4:4; Phi 2:6-8; Col 1:15; 1Ti 3:16; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:1-5; 5:5; 1Jo 4:9,15; Rev 1:17-18]

Galatians 1:2-5:

“…and all the brothers with me, to the assemblies of Galatia. Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, so that He might deliver us out of the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory to the ages of the ages. Amen.”

After stating that his brothers in Christ are with him, Paul gives the Galatians a gracious greeting. Grace and peace are found exclusively in God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Every person the Father did NOT choose for salvation are the same ones for whom Christ did NOT die. And conversely, all persons that the Father DID choose are the same people for whom Christ DID died.

Approximately 2000 years ago Jesus Christ came to this earth to accomplish something. He had a definite purpose in becoming incarnate. His purpose was to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Jesus loves His people and gave Himself for them.

So what is Christ’s purpose according to Galatians 1:4? His purpose in giving Himself was so that He might deliver us out of the present evil age. So, who is the “us”? Is it everyone without exception? No. For one thing, God is never thwarted in His desires. The will (decree) of God the Father is that every one for whom Christ gave Himself will, without fail, be delivered from this present evil age.

To be delivered from the present evil age is to set apart and sanctified by the Spirit of truth. The ones sanctified by the Spirit believe that Jesus’ blood and righteousness is the sole ground of salvation. Their many sins cannot bring them back under God’s wrath because the blood of Christ is efficacious as propitiation. This is not to say that God’s people live in sin. They cannot. For how shall they who died to sin (by virtue of Christ’s death) live any longer therein (Romans 6:1-2)? Since all of God’s people died with Christ, all God’s people are raised with Christ in the likeness of His resurrection. Everyone for whom Christ died will go to heaven. And everyone for whom Christ died will be regenerated and live in obedience to Him as evidence of having been raised by God to walk in newness of life.

God’s people obey out of love for Him who saved them. As they strive for holiness, they do not think that this striving gains or maintains their salvation. Their obedience flows or results from the eternal life that Christ has already obtained for them (Hebrews 5:9). He is their Substitute and Representative before the Father. He with His own blood, has entered the Most Holy Place once on their behalf, having obtained eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). If anyone strives for “obedience” thinking that this so-called obedience forms any part of the ground of gaining or maintaining their salvation (or their assurance of salvation), then they are going about to establish their own righteousness and have NOT submitted to the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:1-3).