Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the four letters of Paul to the churches of Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi and Colossae. The letter to the church at Galatia was written to address issues which the Jewish contingent had tried to enforce which would have meant that Christianity would have become a small outpost of Judaism. It is clear from Paul's immediate assertion of his apostleship that he was facing those who questioned his authority to call himself an apostle. Now, the general definition of an apostle was someone who had seen the Lord Jesus-Acts 1 v 21,22. All those of the Twelve who remained were obviously able to declare that they had, but what about Paul? Paul argues that he saw the Lord on the road to Damascus. It wasn't just a vision, but the risen Christ who appeared to him and commissioned him to preach the Good News to the Gentiles-Acts 9 v 3-5. Paul's prayer for the Galatian church is that they experience God's grace and peace and love, as he writes about how Jesus and the Father demonstrated their love for them and for us. In recent months we have been reminded that this world is both beautiful and terrible. It contains traces of the wonderful place it was made to be, but it has been so marred by evil and sin, it is at times almost unrecognisable as God's creation (''It is good''). As believers in Christ's saving grace, we have a sure hope that we will one day be rescued from this evil world and go to live in a transformed creation.
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