THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH

“All the brothers and sisters who are here join me in sending greetings to the churches of Galatia”. 

Gal 1:2 GNB 

Today the Christian church is fragmented across the world. In many Eastern European countries there are the churches called “Orthodox”. Then there is the global body of Catholicism, centred in Rome. There are “mainline Protestant Churches”, the Anglican communion, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, and many groups and fellowships that fit into none of these classifications. 
In Paul’s day there were only Christian groups under the guidance of the apostles, each group being designated by its geographical location. There was “the church in Antioch”; the “church in Philippi”; the “Church in Corinth”, and so on. It is difficult to determine where Paul was when he wrote to the Galatians, but it could have been Ephesus. Galatia was a large area in the centre of the country we now call Turkey. The churches in Galatia were having a difficult time and this prompted Paul to write to them what is generally thought to be one of his earliest letters, probably about 49 A.D. By writing to them he was declaring that the Ephesian church and the Galatian churches were all together in the faith of Jesus Christ. It was Christ who bound them together despite their being separated by distance. And this letter was circulated far and wide until it became common reading and teaching in all the churches. About four hundred years later it became accepted as part of the Bible for all Christians everywhere, further binding them together. 
Never allow your Christian group to become isolated from the great world-wide community of Christian believers. You are part of a mighty fellowship that belongs to Christ and that exists to promote the cause of Christ. 

PRAYER THOUGHT
Lord, unite your disciples in all the earth.