Galatians ◦ Chapter 1
1 Paul, an ambassador of the celestial government of God–not appointed or sent by men or women but called by Jesus Christ and confirmed by God the Father, who raised him from the dead–2 and all the brothers with me, to those who have partaken of God's healing Remedy in Galatia:3 God our Father sends his goodwill and peace to you, as does the Lord Jesus Christ,4 who voluntarily sacrificed himself to restore trust and heal us from the infection of fear and selfishness and thus deliver us out of this present self-indulgent, self-destructive evil age, according to the eternal purpose of our God and Father,5 to whom be all honor and praise and glory for ever and ever. Amen.6 I am shocked and amazed that you are so quick to reject the truth about God and turn away from his gracious character and methods of love as revealed by Christ, and instead are turning to a different message of "good news"–7 which really isn't good news at all but a grand deception that will only destroy. Evidently there are some people who are twisting and perverting the good news about God that Christ has brought and thus throwing you into all kinds of confusion.8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should come and present a message of "good news" different from what we have already presented–a message that in effect misrepresents God and changes the meaning of what Christ accomplished–then he will be eternally lost, because he will be presenting a message without truth and with no power to heal and restore.9 As we have said once, so that no one will misunderstand I now say it again: If anyone, from anywhere, regardless of accompanying signs and miracles, presents a so-called message of "good news" different from what you already accepted, he will be eternally lost, because he will be presenting a false message with no power to heal or restore!10 What do you think I am doing with my life–do you think I am trying to win the approval of people, or of God? Or do you think I am trying to please men and women or make human beings happy with me? If I were still worried about what people thought of me or trying to get the approval of humankind, I would not be a serving friend of Christ.11 Brothers, I want you to be perfectly clear on this, the good news that I proclaim–the message of healing and restoration–the truth about the character of God as revealed by Jesus, is not something fabricated or concocted by human beings.12 I did not receive this healing message from any human, and neither did I learn it in school; rather, Jesus Christ revealed it to me directly.13 For you have heard of my previous life in Judaism: I practiced the methods of force and coercion and persecuted the people of God and tried to destroy them or pressure them back into the empty rituals of Judaism.14 I was promoting the forms and ceremonies of the old symbolic system more intensely than most of my fellow Jews and was unreasonably zealous for the powerless traditions of my fathers.15 But when God — who guided my life and development from birth, and graciously called me to his service — 16 decided to reveal his Son to me and recreate the character of his Son within me so that I might be enabled to present the truth about God among the Gentiles, I did not seek the approval or validation of any human,17 and neither did I go to Jerusalem to be taught by those who were ambassadors of Christ before I was, but I immediately went into Arabia and then later to Damascus.18 Then after three years of being taught by the Lord, I went up to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days.19 The only other ambassador of Christ I saw was James, the Lord's brother.20 As God is my witness, what I am writing to you is no lie.21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia.22 I was not known by anyone in the churches of Judea that love and accept Christ.23 They had only heard the report: "The man who used to persecute us is now proclaiming the good news about God as revealed in Christ that he once tried to destroy."24 And they rejoiced and praised God because of me.