by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 10 September 5, 2010 Dayton, Texas
3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1901 ASV Translation:
3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ,
4 who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father:
5 to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I. The Apostle's Greeting.
A. The issues of "grace" and "peace".
1. The significance of "grace" [See notes for Aug. 29(018)].
2. The significance of "peace".
a. Clearly Paul seeks "peace" for the Galatians because it is the absence of "peace" that allows really bad decisions to be made and pursued. Those "at peace" do not flit from one doctrinal position to its opposite. The satisfied tend to be stable; it is the entrance of "dissatisfaction" that causes panicky pursuit of first one thing and then another (note Paul's question in 4:15).
b. References to "peace" are relatively rare in Galatians (1:3; 5:22; and 6:16). But, in spite of the rare use of the term, Paul's desire is that "peace" rule the hearts of the Galatians (Philippians 4:7) because that is the only way loyalty to "Truth" will endure.
c. The fundamental sense of "peace" is the absence of conflict (Ephesians 2:14-15). Jesus used "peace" as the alternative to a heart in turmoil and timidity (John 14:27). In John 16:33 He contrasts it with "tribulation" that comes "in the world". Paul wrote of a "Kingdom" of "righteousness, peace, and joy" and the most obvious sense of his words are that "righteousness" leads to "right treatment of others" which, in turn, leads to "peace between brethren" which, in its turn, leads to "joy".
d. The issue of "peace" is the primary issue of the "soul" as the "anticipator" of things to come as "Life" related experiences. It is in the soul that people experience "Life" and it is in the soul that people determine whether the present/coming reality is conducive to that "Life". Thus, it is in the soul that true godliness, or idolatry, is to be found as the soul makes its decisions about where "Life" comes from and what is able to produce/destroy it.
e. Additionally, "peace" is a huge umbrella term for body, soul, and spirit wherein each area of possible conflict is addressed by either promise or provision.
B. The "points of origin".
1. "God" as "our Father".
a. By this declaration, Paul is developing his concept of God as "Father" (He is the Grantor/Sustainer of "Peace").
b. Paul's "God of Peace" terminology in other letters (Notably Philippians 4:9) indicates that "grace" really must precede "peace" because "peace" requires certain types of "works" that cannot exist apart from the divine infusion of "grace" before the fact.
c. As a "Father", then, we have twin theses: He is the Frustrator of the Wicked (by resurrection), the Underwriter of the Righteous (by resurrection), and He is the Grantor of a condition in the Soul that provides and maintains its sense of stability in the truth.
2. "Jesus Christ" as "Lord".
a. The new term here is "Lord".
b. The concept of "lord" is given in 4:1. In that place, the issue of "lord" is that of the dominate overseer in deliberate contrast to the basic concept of a slave.
c. A parallel idea to grace and peace coming from Jesus as Lord is found in 5:10 where it is Jesus' "lordship" over the Galatians' "faith complex" that gives Paul confidence that the Galatians will come around.