GETTING STARTED (115 words)
We identify ourselves in many ways: friend, dog-lover, sibling, boss, mother, and biggest fan, just to name a few. How we identify ourselves not only communicates who we are in relation to others or what positions we hold, but also what things or ideologies are closest to our hearts. Our identities are also ultimately rooted in what we believe about God. How we perceive ourselves, as well as how we navigate life, has a direct connection to our theology.
- What are some ways you identify yourself? How does what you believe about Godinfluence your identity?
READ THE WORD: GALATIANS 1:1-5 (ESV)
1:1 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 brothers who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
- What specific things did Paul note about the source of his apostolic commission (vs. 1)? Why was it essential for the Galatians to understand from whom Paul’s apostleship and authority derived?
- On whose behalf, and to whom, did Paul write this letter (vs. 2)? What salutations did he convey (vs. 3)?
- What did Jesus do for us (vs. 4)? For what purpose? By whose authority and commission (vss. 1, 4)?
- What is your belief concerning the gospel that Paul preached in these verses? Do you, like Paul, identify yourself as one commissioned by God? If so, how do you daily go about your mission of bringing glory to Jesus by proclaiming the gospel?
RESPOND TO GOD (115 words)
In this brief greeting to the Galatian Christians, Paul specifically identified the source of his apostleship and unambiguously proclaimed the gospel. These were necessary truths to convey, as there were some among the Galatians who were calling into question Paul’s authority and adding to the gospel message. Although we are not apostles in the sense that Paul was, if we are believers in the gospel, we too have been commissioned and sent by a powerful, risen Savior to proclaim the gospel to the world. This, then, is the theology of those who believe: saved by Christ, sent by Christ, and sharing the message of Christ.
- Thank God the Father for his great love in sending Jesus to die and be resurrected for you.
- Live as one commissioned by Christ today, and ask God for opportunities to share the gospel.