1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),
2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:
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 from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
apostle (v. 1) = a person sent — divinely commissioned to preach. An appointed representative with an official status and with credentials.
Paul's right to the title — 1 Corinthians 9:1-18
not from (v. 1) — not by the authority of
men (v. 1) — including the 12, the Jerusalem Council or anyone else
nor through (v. 1) — not with the process or medium of men or of any one man, contrasted with "but through Jesus Christ" — by His authority and by the authority of the Father — Jesus Christ and the Father acting in unity. Not even from God through men, but directly from God. Not as Elisha was commissioned by Elijah (1 Kings 19:16) with God's authority, but directly by God.
but (v.1) — in Greek, a strong contrast.
The Judaizers were belittling Paul, so he opens with a statement of his authority from God.
brethren (v. 2) — fellow workers, travel companions, all of whom agree with what Paul is about to say. But it was Paul's apostleship that had been called into doubt, so he speaks in the singular.
churches (v.2) — plural, the only letter to a group of churches.
Paul's lack of commendation for the faith of the Galatians is noteable. He was perplexed by their actions (4:20). This is the only letter in which Paul doesn't express thankfulness or ask for prayer. (He even does so to the Corinthians.) Paul doesn't address the Galatians as saints.
The Father and Jesus Christ are the joint source of grace and peace (v.3).
Grace — common Greek salutation. Peace — common Hebrew salutation.
for (v.4) = substitution.
sins (v.4) — a missing of the mark
deliver us (v.4) = rescue us from danger from evil influences and tendencies; deliver us from bondage
present evil age (v.4) — as contrasted with a future age when Christ will reign. Age = period of time.
Evil — stronger of two Greek words, corrupt and corrupting others, pernicious — as the Judaizers were.
Father (v.4) — only to those who had been born anew.
To Whom (v.5) — the Father
glory — an acknowledging of who God is, not adding anything to Him.
forever and ever (v.5) = unto the ages of the ages, an idiom that means infinite endlessness
Amen (v.5) = let it be so