Setting the Tone - Galatians 1:1-5

Setting the Tone

How many times have we sat through a ceremony or speech, and the keynote speaker or special guest is preceded by some extravagant and elaborate words explaining all the great things this person has accomplished?

Sometimes we are called to provide our credentials to that others may listen, our credentials given by Christ.

Galatians 1:1-5
1Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Paul opens his letter to the Churches of Galatia. He opens slightly differently from his openings in the other letters written. He is setting the tone up front by providing his credentials. In his greeting, he immediately addresses some of the concerns he has for the churches of Galatia. Paul is an apostle. He was not made an apostle by some church leader or through church organization. His authority as an apostle was not secondhand. Paul became an apostle directly through Jesus Christ. God met Paul on the road to Damascus, and called him to service. What are better credentials than that? As an apostle called by Jesus Christ, he refutes some of the accusations against him and states that his apostleship came straight from the Lord and not from men. 

Paul opens straight to the point. He doesn’t include his typical commendation for the Christians at the church. Paul’s tone sets a sense of urgency toward the audience he addresses. There is a need for correction, and his credentials are essential to provide weight to what he says next. 

Grace and peace can only come from the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is stating that the only way to be delivered from our sins and rescued from this current fallen world is through the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the only way we can experience true peace, according to God’s grace and His will for our lives. He deserves the glory and praise. We don’t need to add anything to this because it is in Christ alone. 

Do we have the ability to stand firm on what we are called to do? Do we have the credentials to remain steadfast in God’s will for our lives? Are our lives affirming the true love of Christ toward this world? 

I encourage us to be strong in our faith and trust that God has called us to be a witness. We need to set the tone and stand firm on the truth, on the Good News of Christ’s resurrection. Christ’s return is imminent, and there is a sense of urgency to ensure the Gospel is not watered down, and the Truth remains the Truth. So, let us be as bold as Paul when facing adversity and stay steadfast in our calling by God so that the only result is the glorification of Christ. 
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