“Paul, an apostle–sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead– and all the brothers with me, To the churches in Galatia: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
We miss so much if we skim over opening verses like this. They reveal the divine action of God for our salvation in three stages.
The first is the death of Christ for our sins and to rescue us from this present evil age. The second is the calling and appointment of Paul to bear witness to the death and resurrection of Christ on our behalf. The third is God’s gift to us of the grace and peace which come to us through Jesus Christ.
Each stage is indispensable and each one reveals God the Father and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, working together in complete harmony. And what God has done and revealed through His chosen apostles He continues to give to us, to know and experience individually and together, today. As in the beginning of the Christian Church and still today we are dependent upon what God achieved in history and proclaimed through the witness and testimony of the apostles.
If we take time to consider the deep and wonderful truths of which Paul speaks we must join him in his final statement.
To God ‘be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’
Father, it was and still is Your wonderful will to rescue and save humankind, including me. Thank You for all that You have done with our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit and for those whose life and witness have made it possible for me to hear and know Your Truth today. Amen.