The Books of the New Testament
The Book of Galatians
Brief Summary. Paul instructs the churches
that he established in Galatia. He defends his apostleship against the Judaizers
who wanted to mix Christianity with the Law of Moses. Paul says that salvation
is by grace and not by law.
Greek: Galatas, To
Author: Paul (Saul)
Date: 49, just
after Paulís first missionary journey
Place: Antioch in
Christians in Pisidian Antioch, lconium, Lystra, Derbe, and southern Galatia
Liberation by the gospel
Important Points. By Grace, Never by
Law. Paul refutes the errors of legalism and examines the proper place of grace
in the Christianís life.
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Summary of the Book of Galatians
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Galatians. "This epistle of Paul is directed not to the church or
churches of a single city, as some others are, but of a country or province, for
so Galatia was. It is very probable that these Galatians were first converted to
the Christian faith by his ministry; or, if he was not the instrument of
planting, yet at least he had been employed in watering these churches, as is
evident from this epistle itself, and also from Acts 18:23, where we find him
going over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all
the disciples. While he was with them, they had expressed the greatest esteem
and affection both for his person and ministry; but he had not been long absent
from them before some judaizing teachers got in among them, by whose arts and
insinuations they were soon drawn into a meaner opinion both of the one and of
the other. That which these false teachers chiefly aimed at was to draw them off
from the truth as it is in Jesus, particularly in the great doctrine of
justification, which they grossly perverted, by asserting the necessity of
joining the observance of the law of Moses with faith in Christ in order to it:
and, the better to accomplish this their design, they did all they could to
lessen the character and reputation of the apostle, and to raise up their own on
the ruins of his, representing him as one who, if he was to be owned as an
apostle, yet was much inferior to others, and particularly who deserved not such
a regard as Peter, James, and John, whose followers, it is likely, they
pretended to be: and in both these attempts they had but too great success. This
was the occasion of his writing this epistle, wherein he expresses his great
concern that they had suffered themselves to be so soon turned aside from the
faith of the gospel, vindicates his own character and authority as an apostle
against the aspersions of his enemies, showing that his mission and doctrine
were both divine, and that he was not, upon any account, behind the very chief
of the apostles, 2 Corinthians 11:5. He then sets himself to assert and maintain
the great gospel doctrine of justification by faith without the works of the
law, and to obviate some difficulties that might be apt to arise in their minds
concerning it: and, having established this important doctrine, he exhorts them
to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free, cautions them
against the abuse of this liberty, gives them several very needful counsels and
directions and then concludes the epistle by giving them a just description of
those false teachers by whom they had been ensnared, and, on the contrary, of
his own temper and behaviour. In all this his great scope and design were to
recover those who had been perverted, to settle those who might be wavering, and
to confirm such among them as had kept their integrity." - Matthew Henry (Read
Outline of the Book of Galatians (Scriptures and Topics Covered)
Paul's Message of the Gospel - Chapter 1:1-10
Paul Defends Justification by Faith - Chapters 1:11-2:21
Paul Explains Justification by Faith - Chapters 3:1-4:31
Paul Explains Applying Justification by Faith 5:1-6:18
Questions for further study.
Who were the Galatians?
When did the Galatians receive Christ?
Who led the church in Galatia to Christ?
Who was the author of the book of Galatians?
When was the book of Galatians written?
Where was the book of Galatians written?
What language was the book of Galatians written in?
What is the main theme in the book of Galatians?
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