GALATIANS CHAPTER ONE
I) [Gal 1:1]:
"Paul, an apostle--sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead-"
A) PAUL DECLARES HIMSELF AN APOSTLE FIRST THING
Paul begins this letter declaring himself to be an apostle which has an immediate bearing on the reason why he has written the letter. Thus he establishes his credentials as an apostle as point number one, even before he greets those of the churches of Galatia.
B) APOSTLE DEFINED
1) GENERAL SENSE OF THE WORD APOSTLE: ONE SENT WITH A MESSAGE
Apostle from the Scripture text which is the Greek "apostolos" literally can be translated "one sent with a message" =
"apo" = from
"stello" = to send
From a Roman army context an apostolos would be a courier, a forerunner who brings an order from the general.
2) THE GENERAL SENSE OF APOSTLE AS IT APPLIES TO ALL BELIEVERS
The general sense of the word apostle as it applies to the Christian church is a reference to all believers who are to be messengers of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world in their daily lives as Ambassadors of the Messiah:
a) [Acts 14:4, 14]:
(v. 4) "The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles.
(v. 14) But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd."
b) [Ro 16:7]:
"Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was."
c) [2 Cor 8:22-23]:
(v. 22) "In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you.
(v. 23) As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives [=apostoloi] of the churches and an honor to Christ."
d) [Phil 2:25]:
"But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs."
e) [1 Thes 2:4-6]:
(v. 4) "On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.
(v. 5) You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed--God is our witness.
(v. 6) We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you,
(v. 7) but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children."
3) THE SPECIFIC OFFICE OF APOSTLE IN THE NT CHURCH AS A POSITION OF LEADERSHIP
a) THE OFFICE OF APOSTLE IS A POSITION OF LEADERSHIP
i) [Acts 1:21-22]:
(v. 21) "Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men [in order to replace Judas] who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
(v. 22) beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us [the Apostles] of His resurrection."
The original 12 Apostles were so designated by Christ in Lk 6:13 from 12 of His disciples. They were to be in a position of leadership:
ii) [Acts 1:20b]:
''' "For [referring to Judas' suicide and the need to replace him, (vv. 18-19)],' said Peter, 'it is written in the book of Psalms [69:25],
'May his [Judas'] place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,'
and, [Ps 109:8] "May another take his place of leadership."
4) THE APOSTLES HAD A ONE TIME HISTORICAL ROLE TO ESTABLISH THE CHURCH AND SET DOWN THE FINAL PAGES OF THE WORD OF GOD
Historically speaking the Apostles fulfilled a one time role to lead the body of Christ, the Church, and thereby establish the Church and set down the final pages of the Word of God. Once this was done, no other Apostles appeared on the scene of the type that fit all of the qualifications of Apostle, especially to accomplish such a purpose.
a) [Cp Mt 10:1-8, (cf Mk 3:13-19)]:
(v. 1) "He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
(v. 2) These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
(v. 3) Phillip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of A;phaeus, and Thaddaeus;
(v. 4) Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscarion, who betrayed Him.
(v. 5) These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: 'Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.
(v. 6) Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.
(v. 7) As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.'
(v. 8) Heal the sick, raise the dead [notice even raise the dead], cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."
b) [Compare 1 Cor 4:1, 9]:
(v. 1) "So then let us [Apostles, (v. 9) be looked upon as ministering servants of Christ and stewards [trustees] of the mysteries - that is, the secret purposes of God.
(v. 9) "For it seems to me that God has made an exhibit of us Apostles, exposing us to view last [of all, like men in a triumphal procession who are] sentenced to death [and displayed at the end of the line]. For we have become a spectacle to the world - a show in the world's amphitheater - with both men and angels as spectators."
This passage continues to make the distinction between the Apostles and the general body of believers through verse 13 - suffering a great deal of persecution.
c) [Ephesians 2:19-20]:
(v. 19) "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, (v. 20) 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone."
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Styx/4119/spirit/proph3.htm:"A Biblical Analysis of the Gift of Prophesy"]:
"This is a crucial passage for understanding God's design for the office of prophet [and apostle] in the New Testament. Notice that it links with Christ, the cornerstone of the Church, the office of apostle and prophet as the foundation. The foundation - which by definition does not change, is unmovable, and inalterable. And so we note that just as Christ is a once-for-all and never to be repeated Cornerstone that was laid as part of the foundation of the Church, so also, the apostles and prophets are a once-for-all and never to be repeated aspect of the foundation.
In fact, it is this truth that has lead most Protestant churches to reject the theory of Apostolic Succession. As the office of apostle was foundational to the church now that we are beyond the foundation (not above it), we no longer have need of the office of apostle- and likewise prophet.
Now this raises the question: In what way is the office of prophet [and apostle] foundational to the Church? What does this mean? The answer is found in Ephesians 3:5.
d) [Eph 3:5]:
"Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit."
[Cornerstone Commentary, cont.]:
"Notice the function that Paul ascribes to the prophets in their foundational role in the church.. Paul does not speak about a prediction of the future when he refers to the "mystery" that has been "revealed". Instead, he describes the prophetic office as giving insight about a theology of the church. In other words, the prophetic office was to serve the role of clarifier of the truth in the apostolic age. And thus, we see another design behind the office of prophet: information. Information, or as we have said throughout this study, revelation.
To appreciate this design of the prophetic gift more fully, let me place the New Testament Church in its context for you. Upon the death and resurrection of Christ, God's people were in a time of transition. They were in the era of the New Covenant - the time prophesied in the Old Testament when God would write His laws on their heart. (Jeremiah 31:33) The heart of stone would be replaced with a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 11:19) And yet they were still functioning solely according to Old Testament revelation. Now don't misunderstand. It is not that the Word of God as found in the Old Testament is inferior - it is just incomplete! In fact, the Word of God that would be needed to fully direct God's people during this time wouldn't be completed for another sixty years!
How then would God direct His church? How would God's New Covenant people fully know what God wanted them to do and be? Answer: Enter the prophetic office. It was the design of God that the prophetic office (together with the apostolic office) be used to found the Church until the completion of the canon. Thus in the New Testament God sent prophets [and apostles] to direct and lead His church. And so we see the office of prophet [and of apostle] being used by God throughout the New Testament to direct His church. Paul and Barnabas were sent out by a prophet. (Acts 13) Moneys were raised on account of a famine predicted by a prophet. (Acts 11:28) People were warned of impending doom by a prophet. (Acts 21:10) Theological controversy was decided by the declaration of a prophet. (Acts 15) O. Palmer Robertson wrote this:
'The first letter to the Corinthians was composed at a time when very little of the New Testament had been written. The church at that stage needed an authoritative word from the Lord to direct the pattern of their life under the new covenant. Very likely none of the inspired manuscripts of the New Testament were available to the Corinthians at this point in time.' (The Final Word, p. 18)
And so we see another design behind the gift of prophet: direction for the founding of the Church. Without this gift operative in the apostolic Church, the foundation of the New Testament church could not be laid. It was this gift that was used to direct the Church until the canon was closed."
5) THE SEVEN SIGNS OF AN APOSTLE
[C. I. Scofield states, The New Scofield Study Bible, NIV, New York, Oxford Univ. Press, 1967, p. 984]:
"The word 'apostle' (Gk apostolos) means a messenger, one sent forth with orders. It is used concerning our Lord Himself (Heb 3:1). Elsewhere it is used of the Twelve, who were called to that office by our Lord during His earthly ministry; of Paul, called to the apostleship by the risen and ascended Lord; of Barnabas (Acts 14:14), specially designated by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2); and of Matthias, chosen by lot to take the place of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:15-26). Although Matthias is never actually referred to as an Apostle, it is said of him: 'so he was added to the eleven apostles.'
The 'signs of an Apostle' [i.e., the technical special spiritual gift of Apostle] were:
(1) They were chosen directly by the Lord Himself or, as in the case of Barnabas, by the Holy Spirit (Mt 10:1-2; Mk 3:13-14; Lk 6:13; Acts 9:6, 15; 13:2; 22:10, 14-15; Rom 1:1).
(2) They were endued with sign-gifts, miraculous powers which were the divine credentials of their office (Mt 10:1; Acts 5:15-16; 16:16-18; 28:8-9).
(3) Their relation to the kingdom was that of heralds, announcing, to Israel only (Mt 10:5-6), the kingdom as near (see Mt 4:17, note 9), and manifesting kingdom powers (Mt 10:7-8).
(4) Our Lord delegated, first to Peter (Mt 16:19) and then to the remainder of the apostolate (Mt 18:18; Jn 20:21-23) on behalf of all Christians, the authority to deal with men's sins through the Gospel, under the the figure of 'the keys of the kingdom'
(5) The apostles' future relation to the kingdom will be that of judges over the twelve tribes (Mt 19:28).
(6) Consequent upon the rejection of the kingdom and the revelation of the mystery hidden in God (Mt 16:18; Eph 3:1-12), the Church, the apostolic office was invested with a new endowment, the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4); a new power, that of imparting the Spirit to Jewish believers in Christ; a new relation, that of foundation stones of the new temple (Eph 2:20-22); and a new function, that of preaching the glad tidings of salvation, through the crucified and risen Lord, to Jew and Gentile alike.
(7) It is implied that an Apostle was one who was an eyewitness of the resurrection of Christ (Acts 1:22; 1 Cor 9:1), i.e., he must have seen the risen Lord. There is no N.T. record that Barnabas, called an apostle in Acts 14:14, saw Christ after His resurrection, but if such a qualification was implicit in apostleship, he must have been such an eyewitness.
6) PAUL'S APOSTLESHIP HAD A DIFFERENT MISSION FOR THE LORD
Paul referred to himself as an Apostle of different designation than the 12 Apostles:
a) [1 Cor 9:1]:
"...Am I not an Apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of m work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an Apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my Apostleship in the Lord."
b) [Cp Ro 11:13]:
"I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the Apostle to the Gentiles....."
Acts 9:15 authenticates God the Son, our Lord's appointment of Paul:
c) [Acts 9:15]:
"But the Lord [Jesus Christ] said to Ananias, 'Go! This man [Paul] is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.' "
d) [Cp Gal 2:6-8]:
(v. 6) "As for those who seemed to be important - [Apostles and leaders of the church in Jerusalem, (vv. 1-5)] whatever they were makes no difference to me [Paul]; God does not judge by external appearance - those men added nothing to my message.
(v. 7) On the contrary, they say that I [Paul] had been entrusted with the tak of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews.
(v. 8) For God Who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an Apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an Apostle to the Gentiles."
I cont.) [Gal 1:1 cont.]:
C) THE OPENING OF GALATIANS IS A DEFENCE OF PAUL'S APOSTLESHIP
[Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord and Zuck, Eds, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 589]:
"The opening of the Galatian epistle is both typical and atypical. Though the salutation includes the usual identification of author and recipient together with a customary greeting, the usual expression of thanksgiving and praise for believers is totally absent. Further, there is an abruptness about the opening words which plunges the reader immediately into one of Paul's major concerns, namely, that his apostolic credentials had been challenged. Though not one of the original Twelve, Paul claimed equality with them as an apostle. The word apostolos connotes authority and refers to a person who has a right to speak for God as His representative or delegate.
Paul's apostleship did not originate with men (it was not from men), that is, he was not appointed an apostle by any official body such as the leaders in Jerusalem or Antioch. Neither did his apostleship originate with any one man, however important (nor by man) not even Ananias, who assisted Paul in Damascus (cf. Acts 9:10-17), nor Barnabas, who played a strategic role in opening doors of ministry for Paul in both Jerusalem and Antioch (cf. Acts 9:27; 11:25-26). Rather, Paul made the bold claim that his call was of heavenly origin, from God the Father and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. This is the only direct mention of the resurrection of Christ in the epistle. It emphasizes the importance of that event to Paul's apostleship, for he was not called during the earthly ministry of the Lord but by the resurrected Christ."
II) [Gal 1:2]:
"And all the brothers with me, To the churches in Galatia:"
A) PAUL INCLUDES OTHERS OF THE FAITH IN HIS SALUTATION TO POINT TO A COMMON POINT OF VIEW ON DOCTRINE & CORROBORATE HIS TEACHING
[BKC, p. 590]:
"Joining with Paul in the sending, though not the writing, of this letter were all the brothers with him. These were the apostle's fellow workers, perhaps Barnabas as well as the prophets and teachers with whom Paul ministered in Antioch (cf. Acts 13:1). Mentioning these co-laborers emphasized the fact that the teachings of this epistle were not peculiar to Paul but were held in common with others."
B) THE LETTER TO THE CHURCHES IN GALATIA WAS A CIRCULAR LETTER
"The recipients of the letter were the churches in Galatia. This was then a circular letter probably directed to the churches founded during the first missionary journey of Paul and located in Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and (Pisidian) Antioch."
III) [Gal 1:3]:
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"
A) PAUL USES A TRADITIONAL FORM OF GREETING
[BKC, p. 590]:
"The traditional Greek and Hebrew forms of greeting, grace and peace, were always used by Paul in his salutations to express the hope that the believing readers might be sustained by daily portions of these blessings. 'Grace and peace' find their source in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
IV) [Gal 1:3-5]:
(v. 3) "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
(v. 4) Who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
(v. 5) to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
A) THE LORD JESUS CHRIST GAVE HIMSELF FOR OUR SINS TO RESCUE US FROM THE PRESENT EVIL AGE
"Who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age"
1) JESUS CHRIST GAVE HIMSELF FOR OUR SINS [ALL BELIEVERS], AND NOT FOR OURS ONLY BUT FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD
a) [Compare 1 Jn 2:2]:
"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."
b) [Compare 2 Cor 5:18-19]:
(v. 18) "All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
(v. 19) that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation."
c) [Compare Col 2:13-14]:
(v. 13) "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
(v. 14) having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross."
2) ALL WHO TRUST IN THE TRUTH OF OUR LORD GIVING HIMSELF IN PAYMENT FOR OUR SINS IMMEDIATELY AND FOREVER RECEIVES ETERNAL LIFE
a) [Compare Jn 3:14-18]:
(v. 14) "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
(v. 15) that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
(v. 16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(v. 17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
(v. 18) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
b) [1 Jn 5:9-13]:
(v. 9) "We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.
(v. 10) Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.
(v. 11) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
(v. 12) He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(v. 13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."
3) BENEFIT #2: ALL WHO HAVE TRUSTED IN THE TRUTH OF OUR LORD GIVING HIMSELF FOR OUR SINS RECEIVE THE POTENTIAL OF BEING DELIVERED FROM THIS EVIL AGE, I.E., FROM FALLING PREY TO THE EVILS OF THIS WORLD
Note that this is potential and it does not mean that no evil will befall the believer or that the believer will always be shielded from evils of this world. This is one of the major themes of Paul's letter to the Galatians and it is elaborated upon as the letter progresses.
a) [Compare Gal 5:1, 4-6, 15-26]:
(v. 1) "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(v. 4) "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
(v. 5) But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
(v. 6) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
(v. 15) If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
(v. 16) So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
(v. 17) For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
(v. 18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
(v. 19) The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
(v. 20) idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
(v. 21) and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(v. 22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
(v. 23) gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(v. 24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
(v. 25) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
(v. 26) Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
[BKC, p. 590]:
"Paul concluded his salutation with a magnificent statement regarding the work of Christ on the cross and its delivering power, another major emphasis of this epistle. Christ gave Himself for our sins (cf. 1 Tim 2:6; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 3:18). His death was voluntary and final. It satisfied God's righteous demands against sinners, reconciled people to God, and provided for human redemption. One purpose of Christ's death is to rescue us from the present evil age. The gospel iis an emancipating message. It delivers believing sinners from the power of the present world system through the power of the indwelling Christ just as certainly as it delivers them from eternal judgment to come. Was Paul hinting that the Old Testament Law, so strongly promoted by the Galatian legalizers, would be impotent to accomplish such great things?"
IV cont.) [Gal 1:3-5 cont.]:
(v. 3) "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
(v. 4) Who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
(v. 5) to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
B) AND THIS IS ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD
"to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." =
"In His redemptive work Christ accomplished the will of...God (Gal 1:4c; cf. Heb 10:7-10). Further, in that obedience the Savior brought glory to God (Gal 1:5; cf. John 17:1). Redeemed saints will in addition give glory to God forever because of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ."
C) CONCLUSION VV. 3-5
"Thus Paul had already drawn the lines of battle by touching on two vital concerns. He had affirmed his own apostleship and had declared that the basis of man's salvation lies solely in the work of Christ and not in any human works."
V) [Gal 1:6-7]:
(v. 6) "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -
(v. 7) which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ."
A) DEPARTURE FROM THE GOSPEL BY THE GALATIAN CHURCHES
[BKC, p. 590]:
"Conspicuous by its absence is Paul's usual expression of thanksgiving to God for his readers. Instead he vented his astonishment and anger over the Galatians' defection. When compared with the opening of 1 Corinthians this is even more striking, for despite the Corinthians' deep moral defection Paul nonetheless expressed commendation. But here in the face of theological departure he did not express thanks, thus emphasizing the more serious nature of doctrinal apostasy.
Paul's astonishment was over an almost inconceivable turn of events - the Galatian believers were in the process of turning away (deserting, metathithesthe, as in a military desertion) from the truth. Part of the apostle's amazement was because it was happening so quickly after his last visit to them, or so soon after the false teachers began their insidious work. The departure was not simply from a system of theology but from God Himself, the One Who had called them by the grace of Christ (the dominant theme of the epistle). In exchange they were embracing a different gospel, one that was false. Paul insisted that a gospel of legalism which adds work to faith is not the same kind of gospel that he preached and by which they were saved. It was actually an attempt to pervert the gospel of Christ. And Paul was aware of the fact that at the very time he was writing this epistle the false teachers were at work troubling or throwing the Galatians into confusion (cf. Acts 15:24; 20:29-30)."
B) A MODERN DAY PARALLEL: LORDSHIP SALVATION
A modern day parallel to the Galatians' defection from salvation by grace through faith alone to include the Mosaic Law is today's church's defection from that same grace through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone to include perseverance in the faith in order to be saved unto eternal life. Thus most of today's Christian churches demand that you make Jesus the Lord of your life in order to be saved, i.e., Lordship salvation. If the Apostle Paul were writing a letter to the churches of today, he wouldn't have to change to much in his letter to the Galatian churches.
1) [Compare Gal 3:2b, 5-9]:
(v. 2) '''I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
(v. 5) Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
(v. 6) Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
(v. 7) Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.
(v. 8) The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."
(v. 9) So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.'''
[Notice that Paul's gospel unto salvation is by believing, plain and simple; and the implication throughout is a moment of faith alone in Christ alone + nothing else]
VI) [Gal 1:8-9]:
(v. 8) "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed [= 'anathema'].
(v. 9) As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received , let him be accursed [= 'anathema']."
A) ETERNAL CONDEMNATION IS NOT IN VIEW FOR THOSE WHO PREACH A FALSE GOSPEL
1) [Compare 1 Cor 12:3]:
"Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," [= 'anathema'] and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit."
[Note that the NIV and other translations render 'anathema' in Gal 1:8 & 9 as 'eternally condemned'. But recall the only thing that condemns one eternally is never having trusted alone in Christ alone unto eternal life. Thus the better rendering of the NAS and KJV: 'accursed' is the choice here]:
2) [Compare Jn 3:18]:
"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
["What Is the Anathema of Galatians 1:8-9? Are All Who Preach a False Gospel Eternally Condemned?" by Bob Wilkin]:
"A better rendering of the word anathema in Galatians 1 is: "let him be accursed" or "let him be under God's judgment." Either of those translations allows the English reader to decide for himself whether temporal or eternal judgment is in view.
That Paul was referring to temporal judgment in Gal 1:8-9 is indicated by the immediate context and supported by the use of the term anathema elsewhere in Scripture.
The word anathema is only used four times in the NT outside of this passage. In two of those passages, Acts 23:14 and 1 Cor 16:22, the understanding that temporal judgment is in view is suggested by the context. In addition, it is not even certain that either of the other two passages (Rom 9:3 and 1 Cor 12:3) refer to eternal condemnation (although the addition of the words "from Christ" after anathema in Rom 9:3 strongly suggests that eternal condemnation is in view there).
Similarly, anathema was routinely used in the Greek OT (the Septuagint) to refer to the temporal destruction and cursing of people and cities (e.g., Josh 6:17; 7:1-13ff.; 22:20; Judg 1:17; Zech 14:11). There are no clear examples of it being used in the OT to refer to eternal condemnation.
It is noteworthy that in the context of Gal 1:8-9 Paul included himself and the other apostles and even unfallen angels in the anathema: "even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you . . ." Paul may have been implying that it was remotely possible that even the apostles were capable of distorting the Gospel in some way. This seems a reasonable inference since in chapter two Paul points out that for a time the Apostles Peter and Barnabus were guilty of acting inconsistently with the Gospel (Gal 2:11-14ff.; especially note v 14 where Paul says that Peter and Barnabus "were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel")!
If apostles were capable of distorting the Gospel, surely all other believers are as well. This is born out by comparing verses 6 and 9 of Galatians 1. In the latter verse Paul clearly indicates that his readers had previously "received" the Gospel which Paul proclaimed to them. There can thus be no question but that Paul was writing to genuine believers. Yet in v 6 Paul rebukes them for "turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to another gospel." Genuine believers are capable of being duped by false teachers. And, logically, once duped they will become false teachers themselves whenever they share their faith with others.
Paul's point is that if we learn of anyone preaching a false gospel, we should treat them like someone with a highly contagious deadly disease. We should stay away from them. Turn a deaf ear toward them. Avoid supporting them in any way. False teachers are carriers of a virus much worse than HIV. It is imperative that we separate ourselves from such people (cf. 2 John 10-11). Otherwise we are likely to become infected with their disease and to spread it to others. "
VII) [Gal 1:10]:
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
VIII) [Gal 1:11-18]:
(v. 11) "I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.
(v. 12) I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
(v. 13) For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it."
(v. 14) I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
(v. 15) "But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased
(v. 16) to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,
(v. 17) nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.
(v. 18) Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days."
A) PAUL RECEIVED HIS TRAINING RE: THE GOSPEL FROM JESUS CHRIST DURING A THREE YEAR PERIOD IN ARABIA AND DAMACUS
"I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up." (v. 11) =
[Notice that the gospel Paul preached was not something man made up]
"I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." (v. 12) =
[Furthermore, Paul proclaims he was not taught the gospel he preached by any man, but received it by revelation from Jesus Christ Himself]
"But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man," (vv. 15-16) =
[Paul goes on to say that God set him apart and called Him to preach the Son among the Gentiles the information of which, Paul repeatswas not made available by consulting with any man, (cf. vv. 11, 12). Notice that he had just stipulated in verses 11 & 12 that the information he received re: the gospel was by direct revelation from Jesus Christ Himself and not by or through any man]
"nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus." (v. 17) =
[Relative to how Paul received the information of the message about the Son he was preaching among the Gentiles, Paul testifies that he did not go directly to Jerusalem after his conversion implying that none of those in Jerusalem provided the information re: the gospel he was preaching. But instead, he went immediately into Arabia and then returned to Damascus]
"Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days." (v. 18) =
[It is implied then that Paul was trained in the gospel of the Son, Jesus Christ, during the three year period he spent in Arabia and Damascus immediately after his conversion by revelation from Jesus Christ. Thereafter Paul went to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter, staying with him fifteen days after he had received his training in the doctrines of the faith.]
IX) [Gal 1:18-19]:
(v. 18) "Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days.
(v. 19) I saw none of the other apostles--only James, the Lord's brother.
X) [Gal 1:20]:
"I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
XI) [Gal 1:21-24]:
(v. 21) "Later I went to Syria and Cilicia.
(v. 22) I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.
(v. 23) They only heard the report: "The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy."
(v. 24) And they praised God because of me."