1-2From the apostle Paul and from all the Lord's followers with me.
I was chosen to be an apostle by Jesus Christ and by God the Father, who raised him from death. No mere human chose or appointed me to this work.
To the churches in Galatia:
3I pray that God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace! 4Christ obeyed God our Father and gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins to rescue us from this evil world. 5God will be given glory forever and ever. Amen.
The Only True Message
6I am shocked that you have so quickly turned from God, who chose you with his gift of undeserved grace. You have believed another message, 7when there is really only one true message. But some people are causing you trouble and want to make you turn away from the good news about Christ. 8I pray that God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from our message to you! It doesn't matter if that person is one of us or an angel from heaven. 9I have said it before, and I will say it again. I hope God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from what you have already believed.
10I am not trying to please people. I want to please God. Do you think I am trying to please people? If I were doing that, I would not be a servant of Christ.
How Paul Became an Apostle
11My friends, I want you to know that no one made up the message I preach. 12It wasn't given or taught to me by some mere human. My message came directly from Jesus Christ when he appeared to me.
13 You know how I used to live as a Jew. I was cruel to God's church and even tried to destroy it. 14 I was a much better Jew than anyone else my own age, and I obeyed every law our ancestors had given us. 15 But even before I was born, God had chosen me by his gift of undeserved grace and had decided 16to show me his Son, so I would announce his message to the Gentiles. I didn't talk this over with anyone. 17I didn't say a word, not even to the men in Jerusalem who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went at once to Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
18 Three years later I went to visit Peter in Jerusalem and stayed with him for 15 days. 19The only other apostle I saw was James, the Lord's brother. 20And in the presence of God I swear I am telling the truth.
21Later, I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22But no one who belonged to Christ's churches in Judea had ever seen me in person. 23They had only heard that the one who had been cruel to them was now preaching the message that he had once tried to destroy. 24And because of me, they praised God.