Galatians 1.3-5 – Grace and Peace

Having introduced himself and his apostolic credentials (v.1), in vv.3-5 Paul touches on his other major subject, the legalism threatening the community of believers. 

“Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever! Amen”. 

(NET)

Paul starts with a typically Greek greeting (grace) and a typically Hebrew greeting (peace). He says that these things come from God the Father. Remember, in countering legalism Paul wants his original readers (and you) to rely only on God for grace and peace and not fall prey to the idea that they can work to achieve it themselves. 

In stark contrast to the notion that we can work our way to God by doing this or that and thereby earn His love and forgiveness, Paul makes a tremendous statement about the work of Jesus on the cross. He writes that Jesus 

“…gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever!”

This is where our grace and peace come from in the present evil age. The finished work of Jesus on the cross rescues us. Without this rescue from this present evil age, there will be no substantial or lasting peace in our lives. There can be no substantial or lasting peace in our lives whilst we are in bondage to sin’s hold over our lives (Romans 6.23a). 

The Good News for you and for me is that through His sacrifice on the cross, where Jesus willingly gave himself for our sins, sin no longer has dominion over you anymore (Romans 6.14). You are now free. Free from sin’s hold on your life. Free from the consequences that your sin has accumulated. How so? Because Jesus gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age. 

God loves you so much that He willingly gave His one and only Son to pay the price to rescue you from the consequences of your sin (John 3.16). He loves you so much that this all happened according to the will of our God and Father. He wants you to be free. He wants you to be rescued. He wants you, according to [His] will, to experience the grace and peace that Paul writes about here. You will never work toward this. You will never achieve this by yourself. Thankfully our God and Father has already taken care of it through our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age!

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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