Christ is Risen!

Paul claimed that the source of his apostleship was the same God who raised His Son from “among dead ones” (literal rendering). This same Messiah died and was raised from the dead to “deliver us from this evil age.” In Galatians, The Apostle was responding to certain “men from Jerusalem” who were operating in the Assembly as if the old era was still in effect, insisting that Gentiles must be circumcised and keep the Jewish calendar, and challenging Paul’s Apostolic authority and credentials.

In his Letter, Paul describes the present reality by employing apocalyptic terms and imagery. The “Christ event” is the hinge on which History has turned. In Jesus of Nazareth, especially in his death and resurrection, one “age” terminated while another commenced. Therefore, the followers of Jesus have been “delivered from this evil age” and ought to live accordingly.

Salvation - Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash
[Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash]

He validates his apostleship by asserting a negative (“
neither from men nor through man”), then by issuing a positive affirmation (“but through Jesus Christ”). In this way, he affirms his divine appointment to his office and mission to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles.

His opponents were not disputing his office but claiming that his Apostleship was received from human authorities, presumably, the church leadership in Jerusalem.

  • Paul, an apostle, not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father who raised him from among the dead, and all the brethren with me; to the assemblies of Galatia; Grace to you and peace from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory unto the ages of ages: Amen!” - (Galatians 1:1-5).

Paul denied that his commission was dependent on any human authority, whether the mother church in Jerusalem or the Assembly in Antioch of Syria. Instead, he received it directly from the Risen Jesus - (1 Corinthians 9:1, Acts 9:4-6, 22:7, 26:16).

Not only did Paul receive his commission from the Nazarene, but he also links the Gospel that he proclaims to the “Father…WHO RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD.” Not only did he anchor his Gospel in the past resurrection of Jesus, but he also presented it as the pivotal event that signaled the commencement of the Last Days.

In the death and resurrection of Jesus, the “powers and principalities” that enslaved humanity were defeated decisively, including sin and death. As in his other letters, Paul points to the death and resurrection of Christ as the key event in God’s redemptive plan and the center of the Apostolic Faith.

His resurrection marked the inauguration of an entirely new era, the final stage in the redemptive plan of God. Since then, nothing has been the same - (1 Corinthians 2:5-8, Ephesians 1:17-23, Colossians 2:15, 1 Peter 3:22).

Paul wrote from this perspective when he exhorted the Galatians not to subject themselves again to the “elementary spirits of this world,” and that is precisely what they would do if they submitted to circumcision.

With the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Son of God, the jurisdiction of the old order reached its end. Jesus appeared in Galilee in the “fullness of time,” inaugurating the long-awaited era of fulfillment. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” - (Galatians 4:3-11, Romans 10:4).

DEATH AND RESURRECTION


By reminding his audience that he serves the same God who raised Jesus from the dead, Paul prepares his readers for the description in Chapters 1 and 2 of how he received his Gospel by direct revelation - (Galatians 1:11-16).

Moreover, Jesus is the one who “gave himself on account of our sins.” His death was necessary “on account of” the sins of humanity that had alienated men and women from God. The same idea is implicit in two declarations in the letter - (Galatians 2:20, 3:13):

  • The life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself on account of (huper) me.”
  • Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse on account of (huper) us.”

His death was “according to the will of our God and Father.”  This emphasizes the magnitude of what God did. If believers place themselves under the Mosaic Law, they risk losing God’s “grace and peace.” To return to what preceded Jesus is regression.

Through Christ’s death, God “rescued us from the present evil age.” In his death and resurrection, the expected Messianic Age dawned, and the time of “types and shadows” gave way to the era of fulfillment - (Romans 12:2, Colossians 1:12-13).

Sun - Photo by Bernd 📷 Dittrich on Unsplash
[Photo by Bernd 📷 Dittrich on Unsplash]

In the Hebrew Bible, history is divided into two ages – the present 
evil age, and the age to come. The jurisdiction of Mosaic Law over God’s people belongs to the “present age.” It is part of the old order that began to “pass away” following the resurrection of Jesus; therefore, believers are no longer “under the Law” but are “in Christ” - (Galatians 2:19, 4:3-9, 5:5, 1 Corinthians 7:31, 9:21).

By emphasizing his death and resurrection, Paul highlights the All-Sufficiency of Christ’s death for the forgiveness of sins and the deliverance of believers from this “present evil age” because of his resurrection.



RELATED POSTS:
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  • The Mission - (The church’s mission between now and the return of Jesus is to announce the Good News of his Kingdom to all nations – Matthew 24:14)
  • Salvation for All! - (The Gospel of the Kingdom announced by Jesus of Nazareth offers salvation and life to men and women of every nation and people)

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