Paul’s letter to the Churches at Galatia was written around 50-56 CE. while he was on his third missionary journey (Acts 18:23-21:17). Roman writers called Galatia inhabitants Gauls or Celts. The Galatia area is found in modern Turkey, north of Jerusalem.
Paul has heard that Christian missionaries are spreading a different Gospel than Paul introduced to them. He prays, gets direction from the Holy Spirit, and then writes this Holy-Spirit-fiery missile clarifying faith’s basics. Paul’s letter is propelled by his deep and earnest love for these folks. He is their founding pastor. Paul writes his letter defending the Holy Spirit’s supreme power in our hearts as the one Holy Guide; with Holy Spirit given to us by Jesus Christ in order to know the alive Presence of Jesus Christ in unifying Holiness.
Paul is unleashing the power of the Gospel in this letter. And like the Galatians, the effectiveness of his words upon us are dependent upon the Holy Spirit’s power working within our hearts and minds. So we pray that the words of Paul’s letter and the thoughts of our hearts be acceptable in God’s Holy sight.
Paul begins his letter saying that these are not his words. These are the Words of the Holy Senders, Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead. Paul has been authorized by God as an Apostle to preach and spread the Gospel. This is Paul’s Authority– Divine commission. As Paul writes Grace to you and peace, he is blessing them (and us) at this letter’s start. They are a blessed group as they continue the forward movement of the first beginning of the early Church. Their hearts settle when Paul passes the peace to them in this letter.
And before we move on there is just one more thing and it is extraordinarily huge. Paul’s words point us to our Cornerstone upon which our basics of faith rest: Jesus Christ has given us a new reality found in the Cross– Jesus gave Himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age and this is Heavenly Father’s will for us. Christ has set us free from oppressive evil powers that held us captive, done by Jesus Christ defeating evil entirely on the Cross. And after three days, God resurrected Jesus to rescue us. Glory to God forever!
Paul challenges us to intentionally choose to live as Holy Spirit lead Christians, always near the Cross of Jesus Christ. In Him is our security and nowhere else. In Him is our respectability and others pale. In Him we generously give love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And we do this as a the unified body of Jesus Christ. Christ is our identity.