Summary of the Book of Galatians
The book of Galatians is a call for freedom from the law. Paul writes to the church in Galatia in distress as they have quickly abandoned the gospel they originally received. Judaizers had infiltrated the brethren, preaching circumcision and trying to put them back under the yoke of the law. Paul starts out telling them that this is an entirely different gospel. He writes to the church to remind them of grace and that the only means to be justified is by faith in Jesus not by the law.
Galatians 1 - No Other Gospel
Galatians 1 is a sharp rebuke to the church at Galatia for so quickly deserting the gospel they heard Paul preach and had readily accepted. Confusion set in, so Paul reminds the church to stay true to the gospel he received by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. The man who formerly persecuted the church now preaches the faith he once tried to destroy.
Galatians 2 - Defending Justification by Faith
Galatians 2 shows how the apostles had accepted Paul's gospel message concluding he had been sent by God to preach to the Gentiles. Paul opposes Peter and the brethren who had distanced themselves from the Gentiles and fell back into Jewish customs and laws. He cites that no one will be justified by observing the law and concludes that if righteousness could be obtained by the law, Christ died for nothing.
Galatians 3 - Justified by Faith or Law?
Galatians 3 starts with a reminder that the Spirit is received by faith not by observing the law. Paul goes on to explain that everyone trying to live by the law is under a curse. Christ became the curse for us so the same blessing given to Abraham may be given to all who believe. He emphasizes that the true purpose of the law was to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Showing that if we belong to Christ then we are heirs according to the promise given to Abraham.
Galatians 4 - Children of the Promise
Galatians 4 is a call to sonship in Christ. At the proper time God sent Jesus born under the law to redeem those living under it so we could receive the full rights of sonship. Paul pleads with the church not to turn back to the weak and miserable principles of the law to be enslaved by them again. Paul uses the example of Abraham’s two sons, one born in an ordinary way into slavery and one born according to the promise, in freedom. In Christ, we are children of the promise born in freedom.
Galatians 5 - Freedom in Christ
Galatians 5 begins with a powerful statement, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (vs.1). Paul reminds that those who are trying to be justified by obedience to the law have alienated themselves from Christ and have fallen from grace. He emphasizes freedom in Christ encouraging them to live by the Spirit of God. He then compares and contrasts the acts of the sinful nature with those of the Spirit, implying that those who belong to Christ have crucified the sinful nature which freed them from the law.
Galatians 6 - A New Creation in Christ
Galatians 6 winds down with a reminder to carry each other’s burdens and to test one’s own actions. Paul advises that we will reap whatever we sow in life. If we sow to the flesh, then we will reap accordingly. If we sow to the Spirit then we will reap eternal life. He closes this letter reminding us that the only thing that counts is a new creation in Christ Jesus.
As you can see this is an amazing book and will bless all who read, understand and enjoy this wonderful message of grace and the freedom we have in Jesus Christ.
May you be blessed and inspired as you read and study the book of Galatians.
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