I. Paul’s Opening Words

A. His Qualifications Vs. 1, 2a

1. Paul begins his letter with a very strong statement about his divine calling.

a. He was writing both instructionally and correctively.
b. He was combatting those who sought to defame and disqualify him. (Judaizers)

i. See 1:10; 4:17; 5:7-12; 6:17

c. If they could cast doubt on him they could discredit his message.
d. For the sake of the church, Paul was forced to present his qualifications.

2. V. 1-Apostle- One who is divinely commissioned by God to be an ambassador.

a. A messenger who was given credentials.
b. An appointed representative with an official status.
c. The apostles were used by God to establish correct doctrine for the church

i. See Ephesians 2:20; 4:11, 12

3. V. 1- (not from men nor through man…)

a. Paul’s choice of the word “not” indicates that his opponents were chosen by men.
b. Some people in ministry are not chosen by God, but they are approved of only by man.

i. They may be gifted speakers, charismatic leaders, humanly attractive or intriguing.
ii. The true leader of God does God’s work, God’s way, and speaks the full counsel of God’s word.
iii. He doesn’t emphasize certain portions and neglect other portions.

c. not from men nor through man- Not human in origin; not established through a man.
d. Jesus was both the source of Paul’s authority, and the conveyor of that authority.

4. V. 1- (but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)

a. Paul was commissioned and ordained by the resurrected Jesus and God the Father.

5. 2a and all the brethren who are with me-

a. Those whose names appear at the end of the letter are those who send their greetings.
b. Those whose names appear at the beginning are co-authors and have authority or influence. Paul is simply stating that the men with him were in full agreement.

B. His Greeting Vs. 2b-5

1. V. 2b- His greeting is abrupt and to the point.
2. V. 3- Grace- Grace is God’s divine favor and merit, His divine friendship and enabling.

a. These people were Christians, but they were turning away from God’s grace and getting entangled in legalism.
b. God gives His grace towards those who are being saved.
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God
c. God also Christians grace for daily living. See 2 Timothy 2:1
d. Grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness and yes to holiness- See Titus 2:11-13
e. We need grace in times of weakness and temptation- See Hebrews 4:14-16
f. Our hearts need to be established by grace- See Hebrews 13:7-9
g. We need to grow in grace- See 2 Peter 3:14-18

3. V. 3- Peace- Peace would be the result of the heart ruled by grace, and not by legalism.
4. V. 4a- Paul reminds the Galatians that their faith was built upon the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ for their sins. It was by faith alone that they were saved.

a. They were turning away from that Gospel, and turning to a false gospel, which included and insisted upon certain approved of works being present.

5. V. 4b- Jesus died to deliver us from this present evil age, according to God’s will.
6. V. 4b- Deliver- to pluck out, to draw out, to rescue.

a. He will physically pluck us out of this evil world at the rapture or when we die.
b. He also currently delivers us from the wicked and evil influences of this world.
c. That happens as we believe and surrender to the Gospel, and as we surrender more of our lives to Him; as we yield to the grace of God and the Spirit of God.

7. Evil age- not krakos, which is passive, but poneros, which seeks to destroy others. Pernicious- causing insidious harm or ruin; injurious; hurtful: pernicious teachings; a pernicious lie
8. according to the will of our God and Father- Not our plan, but God’s plan and doing.
9. 5to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. For all that he has done, is doing, will do.

II. The Focal Point Of Paul’s Letter Vs. 6-9

A. Turning From Grace To A Perverted Gospel Vs. 6, 7

1. 6I marvel- to wonder at. Paul found this hard to believe. A gentle corrective word that called for a response.
2. that you are turning away- to exchange or transfer. They were trading gospels.

a. They may have though that they were improving the gospel, but they were replacing.
b. Turning- they were in the act of exchanging gospels; it wasn’t yet a settled matter.
c. Paul was trying to stop them before their minds were settled on a false gospel.

3. so soon- rapidly, rashly, quickly, hastily, suddenly. Someone had changed their minds.
4. from Him who called you in the grace of Christ- They had been called to God via the grace of God. God’s unmerited favor was the means by which they were invited into salvation. They had been called into grace; now they were rejecting grace for works.

a. From Him- They weren’t just turning from the Gospel, but they were turning from God
b. God called them by grace; they sought to redefine the relationship and call it the same.

5. to a different gospel- heteros- of a different sort, of a different nature.

a. Not the same, but different in makeup and content. Arthur S Way- Opposition Gospel
b. Not a secondary gospel of the same sort, but one that is totally different.
c. Heteros also has the idea of being inherently bad. A heteros Gospel = Bad Good News
d. Wuest- A salvation-by-works message is no good news to a lost sinner, first, because the Bible says “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5), and second, if salvation would be by good works, one would not know how many good works a person must do to be saved or after being saved, to keep saved. No one could have any assurance of acceptance with God or security in salvation from such preaching.

6. 7which is not another- Not another version of the true Gospel, but an Opposition Gospel
7. but there are some who trouble you- to disturb mentally. This message didn’t bring peace.
8. and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. Pervert- to change to the opposite, reverse.

B. Let False Teachers Be Accursed Vs. 8, 9

1. V. 8- Paul was no respecter of people or of angels.

a. The important thing was that the true Gospel was preached
b. Accursed- given over to destruction, eternally separated from God.

2. V. 9- Paul had warned them about this very thing in the past. He was now repeating it.

http://carm.org/what-is-legalism- In Christianity, legalism is the excessive and improper use of the law (10 commandments, holiness laws, etc). This legalism can take different forms. The first is where a person attempts to keep the Law in order to attain salvation. The second is where a person keeps the law in order to maintain his salvation. The third is when a Christian judges other Christians for not keeping certain codes of conduct that he thinks need to be observed.