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So why all this personal history? Paul thinks it is useful because the people preaching the false gospel in Galatia claim to be operating under the authority of some of the followers of Jesus from Jerusalem, the mother church. Paul doesn’t have their pedigree and, according to them, doesn’t deserve the rank he claims as the emissary to the nations. They say that not only is Paul deficient, but his message is, too, because it doesn’t bring outsiders to follow the law. So Paul goes toe-to-toe with them, defending not only his call but also his message. The good news he preaches comes directly from the risen Jesus and is confirmed by the Jerusalem leaders.

19 The law has provided the means to end my dependence on it for righteousness, and so I died to the law. Now I have found the freedom to truly live for God. 20 I have been crucified with the Anointed One—I am no longer alive—but the Anointed is living in me; and whatever life I have left in this failing body I live by the faithfulness of God’s Son, the One who loves me and gave His body on the cross for me.

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