Scriptures

Complete Study Of The Book Of Galatians

Introduction

During the first century, there were a bunch of Jews who were converted to Christianity called Judaizers, who didn’t understand that Jesus had crucified the old laws and replaced them with new ones. Paul passed through southern Galatia ‘strengthening all the disciples’, Acts 18:23.

Date

If Paul wrote the letter on his third journey when he was in Corinth, then we would understand that these disciples were about ten years in the faith and it had been only a year or so after Paul had taught in the area.

This gives us an idea of how quickly apostasy to legal justification can set into a church, as well as, how persistent the teachers of such a doctrine can be. They were persistent and bold enough to walk right in behind the teaching of the apostle Paul on grace.

There is another consideration concerning the date of writing that might better enhance our understanding of the letter. Some people believe the letter was written in 48 A.D. or 49 A.D., or possibly immediately after the Jerusalem meeting in Acts 15 when Paul received word concerning the great influence of the Judaizing teachers in the Galatian churches.

If this is true, then the influence of legal justification entered the churches immediately after the establishment of the church in southern Galatia by Paul and Barnabas on Paul’s first missionary journey. That might explain the unconverted character of those who came immediately out of legalistic Judaism into the fellowship of the church.

This may also explain why Paul is so stern in this letter, for Judaizing teachers had come from Judea and were taking advantage of new-born babies in the Lord. Wolves had entered the flock before he could return to strengthen them in the faith.

If the letter was written immediately after their conversion, then we can understand that what Paul is teaching in this letter, must be taught to new converts.

And so, the letter of Galatians is basically Paul’s defence of the very foundation upon which the church is based. It’s an urgent message to the early church because God knew that legalism would destroy the church in its very beginning.

Historical Background

The Greek name ‘Galatia’ refers to ‘the land of the Gauls’. The region is enclosed in Asia Minor or modern-day Turkey. The area of Galatia was originally settled by the Gauls who broke away from the main tribal groups of the Gauls in central Europe around 278 B.C.

The Romans subdued the Gauls in 189 B.C. and in 25 B.C., Augustus, Caesar of Rome, formed the area of Galatia into a Roman province. This meant that the Romans took over the principal positions of government and rule in the province. At the time of Antiochus, the Great, many Jews had moved into the Galatian area.

By the time of Paul’s preaching, Judaism had really spread throughout the region and greatly influenced the culture. Paul preached in this area on his first, second and third missionary journeys and Peter probably preached in this area after his stay in Antioch of Syria.

All the way through this letter, Paul is going to be dealing with the problem of legalism. And when it comes to the problem of legalism, Paul is going to get fighting mad, Galatians 2:14 / Galatians 5:11-12.

Paul is going to get fighting mad with these Jewish legalisers who were insisting that the Gentile Christians still need to obverse the law and be circumcised. Paul is going to remind us that a Jesus plus anything Gospel is not a Gospel at all.

Author

A letter which we know was written by Paul because he tells so, Galatians 1:1 / Galatians 5:2. Very often Paul would get a secretary to write his letters for him but because of the seriousness of the Galatian problem, he sat down and personally wrote this letter.

Outline

Salutation. Galatians 1:1-5
The Sanctity of the Gospel. Galatians 1:6-2:21
Freedom from the Law. Galatians 3-4
Life in the Spirit. Galatians 5:1-6:10
Closing Thoughts. Galatians 6:11-18

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Complete Study Of The Book Of Galatians  

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:1

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