Galatians 1:1–10 (NKJV)
1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.Galatians 1:1-5
Paul opens this letter to the Galatians with some of his typical greetings, asserting his apostolic authority as from God and offering greetings from the brethren who are with him. He then moves on to the blessing with which he also opens his letters: “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.” He recounts the work of Christ to save us and gives Him great glory.
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.Galatians 1:6-10
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Paul here jumps into a discussion of the falling away of some of the people in the Galatian church to embrace legalistic requirements again. While the details will be discussed in the next passage, Paul generally warns them not to be taken in by those who would trouble them with such foolishness. He even uses a method known as Oriental Hyperbole to drive home the point. This is when someone (in Biblical settings) uses an extreme example to demonstrate the importance of not sinning. Here he tells them not to believe another gospel preached by another that differs from what Paul taught them initially. The hyperbole is in the fact that he says that even if an angel from heaven teaches them something else, they should not believe it. Anyone who tries to divert their beliefs to such false doctrine should be considered accursed!
Paul’s admonishment to the Galatians here is direct and clear: don’t listen to false teachers who would put you again in bondage. He declares that the freedom in Christ they have experienced is not to be surrendered so easily. In churches today, legalism can creep in in many forms. Some teach extreme conservatism while some teach extreme liberalism. Neither is fully correct, for there must be a balance based upon the decrees of the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. If someone tries to load you down with dogma that is not based on the Scriptures, then you should measure it by the canon of the Word, and allow the Word to dictate you life, not opinions or even outdated traditions. There are many issues at the forefront of our society’s debates that need to be weighed against the Word of God, but instead are being adjudicated in the court of public opinion. Let’s be people of the Word and live in a fashion that obeys and glorifies the :Lord, for He is one Who will one day judge our souls, not the arbiters of public opinion. Listen to the right voice and shut out the false teachers of our world!