for i would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel [galatians 1:11]
first and foremost, it may be of benefit to point out that paul refers to the people of galatia, both men and women, as brothers. brothers is a term that signifies familial ties. paul considers the people in galatia to be family- fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. brother not only is a way to intimately connect with those in galatia, but it also serves as a reminder that paul did not write galatians with the intent to disparage his family. although the letter was rather straightforward and blunt, paul wrote galatians from a place of love and affection for his family. sometimes love requires us to be direct with those who stray from God and lovingly lead them back to him.
not only does paul attempt to guide the church in galatia toward God, but paul does not sugar-coat the message he sends. nowhere in any of the epistles written by paul does he dilute the word of God so that the recipients of his letters may find comfort in paul himself or in a pseudo-gospel.
the reality is we can be exactly like those in the church of galatia- quick to stray from God’s word and in need of constant reminder of God’s sovereignty and love. we all know that at times it is easier to live in the flesh, to go through the motions of Christianity, and dilute the gospel for others in hopes that our own image is illuminated rather than God’s- all things that the people in galatia were guilty of. it is important to be aware of false-gospels, but just as important is the decision to stand firm in faith, not be silenced by false teachings, and treat everyone as brothers.
1 peter 3:8- finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
proverbs 12:26- one who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
~ angela younger