Sunset - Larnaca

Sunset - Larnaca

Friday, 5 December 2014

Galatians 1

In Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians,  he affirms the true Gospel of Christ, as a result of false teachers claiming that Christians must follow the laws of the Old Covenant. So, Paul writes to the people of Galatia in order to call them back to the true faith in Christ. He does this by defending his Apostolic authority, discussing the gift of the Holy Spirit within the Church, explaining the Cross of Christ and the life of Faith.

Galatians 1 :
St Paul asserts his authority as a chosen Apostle of God, highlighting that The true Gospel which he preaches is 'not according to man', but has come about through the revelation of Christ. The false teachers had argued that Paul was not a true apostle, and so St Paul reassures his faithful of Galatia that the source of his apostleship is God, and this is confirmed by his founding of the Galatian churches, as well as the fact he had witnessed Christ in person.

 - This group who were perverting the message of the true Gospel would certainly have had Jewish affiliations, as they were in favour of circumcision and the laws of the Old Covenant, however they were also believers of Christ in that they were preaching a gospel. The Apostle Paul therefore stresses the importance of recognising the true 'good news' of Christ, and His Orthodox Church. St Paul emphasises that although many declare themselves as apostles, we can easily verify who are true apostles of Christ, and consequently easily recognise the true Orthodox Church.

Verses 13-17 highlight that people are called to God and to His Church through grace, rather than according to their former conduct ( good or bad ). Paul, whom God called in mercy, received grace from Ananias' hands ( Ananias being a disciple of Christ, Acts 9:10-19) and the waters of Baptism. The separation from the womb in v.15 refers not to St Paul's physical birth, but to the Lord's calling, to apostolic ministry before he was even born ( Ps 138:15, 16, Is 49:1, Jer 1:5, Lk 1:35). God's will transcends time, and so His intentions for a person may lie hidden for years but are eventually realised and take place when the time is right.
In verses 18-20 we read that Paul submits himself to the Church and his fellow apostles. He unites the apostleship of the Church, highlighting the importance of the same teaching of the Gospel preached throughout the Church, by her divinely inspired apostles and teachers.

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