So far in Galatians we have seen Paul the Apostle. He has defended his status as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus against the slander of the false brothers teaching error in the churches of Galatia. We have also seen Paul the theologian in fine form. The dexterity of his mind, his theological depth, and knowledge of the Scriptures are on full display in this letter. In this section of Galatians, we are introduced to Paul the pastor. Paul evangelized Jews and Gentiles. He also established and pastored particular churches. We know from Galatians and his letters to the Corinthian church that his duty as a pastor was one which weighed heavily upon him and was often the source of great pain and anxiety as the present text suggests.
Unlike the false brothers in Galatia, Paul was not interested in presiding over a cult of his own personality. His interest in maintaining influence in the churches was a function of his desire to see Christ formed in them. He desired for them to be able to say with him, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (2:20). Toward that end we may trace three exhortations from the Apostle in this passage.