The gospel message of grace and peace which comes through Jesus Christ, who rescues us from sin, comes from God, was preached by Paul, and must not be deserted by those who have received it in favor of another gospel.
Chapter 1 notes
- vv. 1-2. Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ, a person who had seen the Lord after his resurrection and had received a special commission to take the gospel message to Gentiles. These men were unique in the sense that they helped establish the church by their ministry (Ephesians 2:20).
- vv. 3-5. The apostle's message was chiefly about Jesus and the grace and peace that comes through Him. His life of perfect obedience to the Father, his sacrificial, substitutionary, and atoning death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead provides the basis for our sins to be forgiven.
- vv. 6-9. The apostles preached one consistent message of good news in Christ Jesus. Those who preach a different gospel than was preached by the apostles is no gospel at all, and Paul warns in the strongest terms possible than any who do so, let him be "eternally condemned!" (NIV), "accursed" (KJV, ESV).
- vv. 11-12. Paul did not make up his message, nor did he receive it from another man like Peter, James, or John. He received it directly from the Lord.
- vv. 13-17. Paul may have been the most unlikely candidate to be an apostle, as one who persecuted the church, tried to destroy it, and was religiously zealous as a Jew, but God's purpose for Paul and Paul's role in God's plan would not be hindered, for God had set him apart from birth. This is reminiscent of the Old Testament prophets like Moses (Exodus 2) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5).
- The core message of the church of Jesus Christ is that grace and peace comes to you through Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins. We should expound the gospel and make it plain to people so that they may respond to God's mercy and come to Christ in faith.
- We should be careful ourselves to maintain the integrity of the gospel message and preach nothing else than what the apostles preached (nothing against it and always consistent with it). We should call others who claim to be Christians to preach this same message.
- When God has a purpose and intends to use someone in that purpose, he can and does radically intervene to change the heart and set that person on the path which will fulfill God's purpose.