Paul isn’t the only believer or Apostle that preaches the good news of God’s grace. We are saved by grace through faith plus nothing. The law is always alien to the concept of Grace. If it’s by grace it’s not law. If it’s by Law 02 no religionthere’s no grace. Paul will make this clear in his letter, but in Galatians 1:2 he says that his letter to them on this subject is not only from him but also “…all the brothers who are with me, to the churches of Galatia.” I believe Paul is insisting that they are also joint writers with him. He means something very specific when he says that these brothers are “with” him.

I think the Greek preposition will shed some light on this for us. In English the word “with” means many different things and only the context can help us determine which definition is best. I can fight “with” my brother. This actually means “against.” I can fight “with” the 51st Airborne. This actually means “alongside of” for a common cause. It’s this later sense that the Greek preposition “syn” signifies. In this case Paul is saying that the other “brothers” are in complete agreement with him. Paul usually names his co-writers of letters but in this case he left their names out. Many commentators say that they wish Paul had included their names so there would be more information on which to base some interpretation or the “the letter could be better defined historically and geographically” (UBS handbook). But Paul wants his readers to know that his message is not dependent on others. He leaves the “brothers” anonymous. The divine origin of Paul’s message is all that matters as he prepares to defend himself against the attacks of the legalists and religious leaders of his day.

He then identifies his recipients as the “churches in Galatia.” These churches were planted on Paul’s first missionary journey after he had assumed the leadership role from Barnabbas. After the event on Cyprus in Acts 13 where Saul – the Pharisee – became Paul the apostle to the gentiles, John Mark left the ministry and returned to Antioch. I’ve always been of the opinion that Paul’s new leadership with a gentile focus was too distasteful for the Jewish John Mark who became Peter’s disciple. Paul’s message was the divinely inspired message of salvation by grace through faith apart from the Law. Those who had strong religious convictions had difficulty with this message. Even Peter struggled with it when God insisted he violate the dietary law and eat like the Gentiles ate. People are so offended by the gospel of God’s grace that all across Galatia Paul and his companions were beaten, stoned, imprisoned and driven out of town. Christ calls us to leave everything behind and follow Him. For most people, the most difficult thing to leave behind is not their money it is their religion.