In our study, we will look at Paul's qualifications to be an apostle and his passion for the pure gospel of justification by grace.
"Paul, an apostle - sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead -" NIV translation
Paul opens this letter by presenting his qualifications for being an apostle. He says that he was "sent not from men" meaning he did not complete some course or get a college degree or any other learning program. He then says that he is not an apostle "by man" speaking to the fact that he did not have to go through some type of ordination service, election, or any other ritual. Then, he explains that it is simply by the call of Jesus and the Father who has the power.
"and all the brothers with me, To the churches in Galatia:" NIV translation
Paul was not alone and he was not looking for glory for himself but includes those with him in the greeting. The letter is addressed to the churches in Galatia and not a single church. When he says churches, he is talking about groups of believers in different areas of the Roman province that was known as Galatia.
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ," NIV translation
Having gotten straight his qualifications, he now greets the people with the authority that was granted to him as an apostle. The greeting puts grace before peace and that is a good reminder to us that it is only by the grace of God that we can have peace with God. That point is crucial to our understanding of this letter.