Galatians

Authorship

Paul (1:1 & 5:2), early to mid 50’s.  This is Paul’s first letter – we experience some unpolished edges on this fiery young minister.

Audience

Galatians – probably those in the southern portion (accessibility, they are familiar with Barnabas, etc…), predominantly Gentile.  Traveling Jews have infiltrated them to discredit Paul and his gospel by faith alone.

Setting

Jews are pushing circumcision as requisite to being accepted by God, the Galatians are buying it.  Gentile acceptance is still fresh – it was big to allow the gospel to go to Gentiles… the next step that must be fought for is accepting Gentiles by faith, not by Judaism.  The gospel is at stake.

Purpose

To explaing that salvation is by faith alone; that it is impossible for deeds and the law to save you from sin.  To reestablish his credibility.

How to Read it

Look for the simplicity of the gospel and the role of works next to faith.  Contrast this with James for a challenge!  Compare it to Romans for greater depth on the basic topics.

Outline

I.    Authenticity of the Gospel (1-2) – read 1.6,8-10,13-14, attacks on gospel and Paul, 2.9,11,1416, 20-21 grace & faith,

II.   Superiority of the Gospel (3-4) – 3.1-4,10-11 rational plea, 3.23-25 law’s role, 4.12-16 personal plea, 4.22,24 historical plea

III.  Freedom of the Gospel (5-6) – read 5.1-4 freedom, 5.12 flagrant plea, 6.14-15 closing

Remember…

The second half of Galatians 2 as the key chapter on salvation by faith alone.

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