Will walk through the Book of Galatians section by section with this brief overview and downloadable study questions compiled by Rev. Wayne Palmer.
Introduction to Galatians
From the beginning, the New Testament Church struggled with false teachers. In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul combats those who teach Gentiles that they must be circumcised and follow the Law of Moses to be saved.
Context for Galatians
Galatia was a region in Asia Minor comprising many cities. Paul planted the church in Galatia during his first missionary journey with Barnabas. Soon after they left, false teachers came claiming Paul’s apostleship was a lower level than that of the Jerusalem apostles. They argued that Paul’s message was incomplete. They convinced the Galatians that they needed to be circumcised, keep the Sabbath, and follow the Law of Moses to complete their salvation.
Purpose of Galatians
The Gentiles in the Galatian Church had left the structured life of paganism and idol worship and were drawn to the structure and culture reflected in the Law of Moses and the Old Testament rites. Paul writes to persuade them to grow up into the freedom Jesus has won and gives in the Gospel. More than any other epistle, Galatians forcefully asserts that we are saved by God’s grace alone, without any works of our own. It stands like a fortress guarding the heart of the Gospel.
Outline of Galatians
Since the false apostles posed as disciples of the Apostles, Paul uses chapters 1 and 2 to remind the Galatians that he received his Gospel directly from Jesus Himself. Paul asserts that everyone must be justified through Christ alone—without their own merits and works of the Law. In chapters 3 and 4, he gives examples from Scripture to prove this. Paul shows that Christ has fulfilled and set aside the ceremonial law, though not the moral law. In chapters 5 and 6, Paul discusses the true place of the Law—the good works of love that flow from faith. This is an important balance because he does not want us to ignore the importance of exercising our faith through good works—as Jesus commanded, “Love one another.”
To learn more about the book of Genesis and many other Biblical books, check out our free study guides by Rev. Wayne Palmer.