Galatians chapter 1

After Paul had left Galatia, other evangelists arrived. They discredited Paul and proclaimed a false gospel. Now Paul defends his apostleship. [UPDATED]





VERSE 1. Paul, an apostle—not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—

not from men. Where did Paul’s apostleship come from? It was not because somebody ordained him.

In our day, many ministry leaders are “made” by means of ordination. But Paul was not “ordained.”

Upon ordaination by a denomination, you become a “suit.” You are an official minister, and represent the denomination in every setting. You are obliged to defend the denomination, even when it is wrong.

Paul had no such obligation to anybody.

nor through man. Paul’s apostleship was not because somebody “endorsed” him.

In our day, some ministry leaders are “endorsed.” An official of the organization says, “Yes, you are now one of our representatives.” It is like getting hired. That was not the case with Paul.

Upon being endorsed by an organization, you become a “suit.” The organization must be defended, even when it is wrong.

Paul had no such obligation to anybody.

through Jesus Christ, and God the Father. Paul’s apostleship was directly from God.

In our day, some people claim that God has called them to be ministry leaders. They were not ordained, and not hired. They are autonomous from any organization.

Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.


VERSE 2. and all the brothers who are with me, to the assemblies of Galatia:


VERSE 3. Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,


VERSE 4. who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father—

gave himself for our sins. Jesus Christ died for sins. But the believers had converted to a different gospel where they had to earn their own forgiveness.


VERSE 5. to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.




VERSE 6. I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different “good news”,


VERSE 7. but there isn’t another “good news.” Only there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Good News of Christ.

there isn’t another “good news.” This is the essence of this epistle. The believers in Galatia had abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, they embraced a “different” gospel, one based on the doing of religious works and the earning of eternal salvation.

The believers in Galatia learned about this “different” gospel because after Paul left town, a group of “different” evangelists showed up, talked them into it, and got them to switch.


VERSE 8. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed.

let him be cursed. Paul could not be more direct.

cursed. The Greek word is ἀνάθεμα (“anathema”). This begins a long-standing custom of church leaders condemning somebody by using the word “anathema.”


VERSE 9. As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any “good news” other than that which you received, let him be cursed.


VERSE 10. For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ.

pleasing men. Paul absolutely was not a “man-pleaser.” He did not care if people approved of him or not.




VERSE 11. But I make known to you, brothers, concerning the Good News which was preached by me, that it is not according to man.


VERSE 12. For I didn’t receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.

it came to me through revelation. Paul was not a suit. He represented no denomination or organization. He did not embrace any particular theological construct.


VERSE 13. For you have heard of my way of living in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the assembly of God and ravaged it.


VERSE 14. I advanced in the Jews’ religion beyond many of my own age among my countrymen, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.


VERSE 15. But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through his grace

separated me. God set Paul apart so that he could proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. His calling was no less important than that of the Twelve.


VERSE 16. to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I didn’t immediately confer with flesh and blood,


VERSE 17. nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia. Then I returned to Damascus.


VERSE 18. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days.

after three years. Right after his conversion, Paul did not look for approval from the other apostles. He was not under their authority, and did not answer to them.

Rather, Paul launched out and evangelized the known world. Finally, after three years, he visited Peter.


VERSE 19. But of the other apostles I saw no one except James, the Lord’s brother.

other apostles I saw no one. Paul did not go out of his way to visit any other apostles. He did not care what they thought of him. He did not try to earn their approval.

except James. This reads as if it happened by accident, and not as a planned event. Perhaps Peter was accompanied by James.


VERSE 20. Now about the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I’m not lying.


VERSE 21. Then I came to the regions of Syria and Cilicia.


VERSE 22. I was still unknown by face to the assemblies of Judea which were in Christ,


VERSE 23. but they only heard: “He who once persecuted us now preaches the faith that he once tried to destroy.”


VERSE 24. So they glorified God in me.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.