I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 New Living Translation).
Galatians 1-3 New Living Translation
Galatians 1-3 The Voice
Galatians 1-3 The Message
Galatians 1-3 In your Bible
The epistle is bold. Paul reproaches Galatian teachers for adding circumcision to the believers faith walk. That’s not what Paul taught. He reminds them, the Spirit, not the flesh, should guide believers. One commentator describes Galatians as the Christian Declaration of Independence* – Freedom in Christ.
Paul asserts his apostleship. His dramatic meeting with Lord on the road to Damascus, three years in the desert, and twice meeting with the other apostles in Jerusalem. Thirteen years later, Peter gave Paul the right hand of fellowship to bring the gospel to the Gentiles.
. . . God—who set me apart even before birth and called me by His grace—chose, to His great delight, to reveal His Son in me so I could tell His story among the outsider nations . . . (Galatians 1:15,16a The Voice).
Promise and Faith
Now, Paul addresses the false teachers have asserted believers must combine Judaic law with their Christian faith.
God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. For if the inheritance could be keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise (Galatians 3:16-18 NLT).
Paul gives understanding of pure Christianity. But now you [believers] have arrived at your destination: By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God. Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise (Galatians 3:25-27 The Message).
Prayer: Father, thank you for fulfilling the Law in Christ Jesus. He is my life.
Questions: Describe Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the Road to Damascus. Key verses in Galatians 2:11-24 and Acts 9:3-6, reveal that much more happened to Saul/Paul after he was knocked off his donkey. What ideas and facts here help your understanding of Paul?
*What the Bible is all About, Henrietta Mears, Regal Books, a Division of G/L Publications, Glendale, CA, 1974, p.480.