Galatians

6 Chapters, 149 verses, 3,098 words.

  



Vital Statistics


 Purpose:  To refute the Judaizers (who taught that Gentile believers must obey the Jewish law in order to be saved), and to call Christians to faith and freedom in Christ 
 Author:  Paul 
 Original Audience:  The churches in southern Galatia, founded on Paul's first missionary journey (including Iconium, Lystra, Derbe)
 Date written:  Approximately A.D. 49. from Antioch, prior to the Jerusalem council (A.D. 50)
 Setting:  The most pressing controversy in the early church was the relationship of new believers, particularly Gentiles, to the Jewish laws. This was especially a problem for the converts and for the young churches that Paul had founded on his first missionary journey. Paul wrote to correct this problem. Latter, at the council in Jerusalem, the conflict was officially resolved by the church leaders    
 Kay verse:  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (5:1)
 Key places:  Galatia, Jerusalem 
 Special features:  This letter is not addressed to any specific body of believers and was probably circulated to several churches in Galatia 

     


Author
    The opening verse identifies the author of Galatians as the apostle Paul. Apart from a  few 19th-century Interpreters, no one has seriously questioned his authorship. 



Date and Destination 


    The date of Galatians depends to a great extent on the destination of the letter.There are two main views:  
    1. The North Galatian theory. This older view holds that the letter was addressed to churches dated in north-central Asia Minor (Pessinus, Ancyra and Tavium), where the Gauls had settled when they invaded the area in the third century B.C. It is held that Paul visited this area his second missionary journey; through Acts contains no reference to such a visit. Galatians, it is maintained, was written between AD. 53 and 57 from Ephesus or Macedonia. 
    2. The South Galatian theory. According to this view, Galatians was written to churches in the southern area of the Roman Province of Galatia (Antioch, lconium, Lystra and Derbe) that Paul had founded on his first missionary journey. Some believe that Galatians was written from Syrian Antioch in 48-49 after Paul's first journey and before the Jerusalem council meeting (Ac 15). Others say that Galatians was written in Syrian Antioch or Corinth between 51 and 53.  



Occasion and Purpose 


    Judaizers were Jewish Christians who believed, among other things, that a number of the ceremonial practices of the OT were still binding on the NT church. Following Paul's successful campaign in Galatia, they insisted that Gentile converts to Christianity abide by certain OT rites, especially circumcision. They may have been motivated by a desire to avoid the persecution of Zealot Jews who objected to their fraternizing with Gentiles (see 6:12). The Judaizers argued that Paul was not an authentic apostle and that out of a desire to make the message more appealing to Gentiles he had removed from the gospel certain legal requirements. 
    Paul responded by clearly establishing his apostolic authority and thereby substantiating the gospel he preached. By introducing additional requirements for justification (e.g., works of the law) his adversaries had perverted the gospel of grace and, unless prevented, would bring Paul's converts into the bondage of legalism. It is by grace through faith alone that people are justified, and it is by faith alone that they are to live out their new life in the freedom of the Spirit.

 

Theological Teaching  


    Galatians stands as an eloquent and vigorous apologetic for the essential NT truth that people are y justified by faith in Jesus Christ—by nothing less and nothing more—and that the are sanctified not by legalistic works but by the obedience that comes from faith in God's work for them, in them and through them by the grace and power of Christ and the Holy Spirit. It was the rediscovery of the basic message of Galatians (and Romans) that brought about the Protestant Reformation. Galatians is often referred to as "Luther's book," because Martin Luther relied so strongly on this letter in all his preaching, teaching and writing against the prevailing theology of his day. It is also referred to as the "Magna Carta of Christian LIberty." A key verse is 2:16.

  



Outline


I. Introduction (1:1-10)

A. Greetings (1:1-5)

B. Denunciation (1:6-10)

II. Personal: Authentication of the Apostle of Liberty and Faith (1:11-2:21)

A. Paul’s Gospel Was REceived by Special Revelation (1:11-12)

B. Paul’s Gospel Was Independent of the Jerusalem Apostles and the Judean Churches (1:13-2:21)

  1. Evidenced by his early activities as a Christian (1:13-17)

  2. Evidenced by his first post-Christian visit to Jerusalem (1:18-24)

  3. Evidenced by his second post-Christian visit to Jerusalem (2:1-10)

  4. Evidenced by his rebuke of Peter at Antioch (2:11-21)

III. Doctrinal: Justification of the Doctrine of Liberty and Faith (chs. 3-4)

A. The Galatians’ Experience of the Gospel (3:1-5)

B. The Experience of Abraham (3:6-9)

C. The Curse of the Law (3:10-14)

D. The Priority of the Promise (3:15-18)

E. The Purpose of Law (3:19-25)

F. Sons, Not Slaves (3:26-4:7)

G. The Danger of Turning Back (4:8-11)

H. Appeal to Embrace the Freedom of God’s Children (4:12-20)

I.  God’s Children Are Children of the Free Woman (4:21-31)

IV. Practical: Practice of the Life of Liberty and Faith (5:1-6:10)

A. Exhortation to Freedom (5:1-12)

B. Life by the Spirit, Not by the Flesh (5:13-26)

C. Call for Mutual Help (6:1-10)

V. Conclusion and Benediction (6:11-18)







Galatians Horizontal




1:1 - Paul - Apostle from God



1:6 - Some pervert gospel

No Other

Gospel Paul

1:10 - Gospel through revelation

Gospel

preached came

1:18 - One persecuted-now preaching


directly from

2:1 - Those reputed gave fellowship

Living a

God

2:11 - Insincerity

Doble Life


3:1 - Works or faith?

Living Faith


3:6 - Men of faith blessed

Not Works


3:10 - Redeemed from the law

Redeemed by


3:15 - Inheritance by promise

Promise

Redemption

3:19 - Why the law?

Out of

from

3:23 - Law-Custodian until Christ

Bondage

Law

4:1 - Adoption as sons

Into


4:8 - Formerly in bondage

Family


4:12 - In travail

Freedom from


4:21 - Christ set us free

Slavery


5:2 - Fallen away from grace

Keep


5:13 - Called to freedom

Your Freedom

Freedom comes

5:16 - Walk by the Spirit

Live &  be

Through

5:25 - Bear one another’s burdens

Led by

Walking

6:6 - Who sons will reap

The Spirit

in

6:11 - Glory in the cross

Final

The

6:17 - Bear marks of Jesus

Reminding

Spirit

6:18 - Grace be with brethren






Notes