Authority: God or Men. Galatians 1:1-3.

June 1st, 2009

1:1 Paul, Apostle. Not sent from men neither via men, contrarywise via Jesus Christ.
And of God Father, of the rousing ones of his, out of death.
 1:2 And the united to me, all brothers of the church of the Galatians.
1:3 Grace to you, and peace sent from God Father. and Lord of ours, Jesus Christ.
-- literal

I hope the passage I included isn't too difficult to understand. Please read it in your favorite Bible version. Let's look at this introduction to the book of Galatians. It

is a summary of where the authority of a Christian comes from.

Paul, Apostle. Paul is simply telling who wrote this letter.

Not sent from men neither via men. Paul is telling what he is not. His motivations, his mission wasn't given to him because

some church fathers told him to go out and do. He doesn't do what he does through the power or authority of any human.

Contrarywise via Jesus Christ. And of God Father, of the rousing one of his, out of death. Paul states where his authority

does come from. It's not even from his own doing, but he has been sent from Jesus and the Father God. He then further

describes Jesus as the risen one of God's from death. The word for arisen can also be used as being awakened or aroused, as

from a sleep.

And the united to me, all brothers of the church of the Galatians. Here Paul shifts from where this letter is from, and tells

who it is addressed to. The word for 'united' is one that means to be together with, gathered together, united and so on. The

word 'the' is actually a plural form and it might be better read as 'those united'. Paul again restates himself to make

himself clear as to exactly who he is talking about, it is to the brothers of the church of Galatia. The 'church' meaning

simply a gathering of believers. Not any building, or governing body, or a corporate body. Where ever any group of believers

gather or meet might be known as 'ekklesia', or church.

It isn't any religious group that can save a sol. It isn't any denomination or set of corporate rules that we sometimes come

to think of a church, that can save a soul. Those things only define a group of Christians based on what they do in the

ministry of God. The building that we call a church is even less than that. Meetings can be held anywhere.

A body is a living thing that moves around, does things, ideally productive things, and even grows. To stop growing is to

waste away and die. Then the body becomes a corpse. As a member of the body of Christ, How do you fit in? As the body of

Christ moves around and does things, what is your part?

With Christ as the head of the body, we can always look to him for the signals to be on the move. Going and doing, or even

resting when that serves a purpose in the ministry, or service that he wants done.

Without the head, a body is soon dead. If you are finding your part of the body of Christ is dead, get reattached. Reconnect

with Christ, not necessarily a church. I know that sounds bac. What I mean is that you should find a local church to meet

with and be part of. Do it with the purpose of seeking Jesus. He is the source you need to revitalize yourself. If a program,

or class, or some other feature at a congregation puts you into connection with Jesus, then great. Congradulations! You're

back! There is no church on earth that can provide that spiritual revitalization. It has to come from Jesus.

Think of it this way. If you're hungry, you go to the kitchen. Hey, that's where I normally expect to find food. Sometimes my

kitchen is empty. No food, and nothing but empty dishes. That's like a church where the spark of Jesus has gone out. Don't

abandon the church though. More food can be delivered. All it takes is asking for it. Yeah, I know, it takes money to go to

the grocery store and buy the nurishment you need. In the spiritual world that price has already been paid. Jesus died and

was raised. All that's left is calling in your order. You don't even have to leave to get it. Groceries are on the way so get

that kitchen tuned up and ready.

Any true authority, or source of strength and confidence always comes from Jesus. Not that men, or our man made institutions

are not important. They are the channel of how he works, just not the source.

And the well wishes that Paul had for the Galatians is what I offer to wrap up today.
Grace to you, and peace sent from God Father. and Lord of ours, Jesus Christ.

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