Survey of Galatians

Survey of Galatians 

The epistle of Galatia is believed to be written in either 49 or 55 8.D.and addresses issues in the church the dealt with issues of salvation by faith alone and Christian ethics. Paul addresses the question of how: can a man, who is sinful by nature, come to a God, who is holy by nature. His answer is this: there is only one way – to accept the salvation of God’s grace that is made available through Christ death and resurrection. Salvation cannot be obtained through obedience to the law of Moses. Man, by his very nature is too weak and too self-serving to be able to accomplish selfsalvation and self-centered occasion. Certain Jewish Christians referred to as Judaizers, or teaching that works are necessary, and that Paul’s gospel was not true gospel and that Paul was not a genuine apostle. Paul answer was to clarify his doctrine of justification by faith plus nothing, and of the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, not the law of Moses he reasserted his apostolic authority received from Christ Jesus who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Paul’s theology of salvation by faith effectively negates any other form of salvation that includes human effort through works, adherence to the law of Moses, or self-justification. 

Authorship 

Galatians is authored by Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles.  Paul starts this letter of by proclaiming who he is, and by what authority he is writing in. (Galatians 1:1).  It is believed that the letter to the Galatians may have been one of the earliest writings of the New Testament.  

Historical Settings 

The term Galatia was used in both the geographical and political sense. The former referred to the North – Central Asia minor, North of the cities of Pisidian Antioch (Atcs 13:14), Iconium (Acts 13:51), Lystra (Acts 14:8), and Derbe (Acts 14:19-21); the latter referred to the Roman Providence (organized in 25B.C.) that included the southern district of those cities just mentioned. If the letter was written to Christians and North Galatia, the churches were founded on the second missionary journey and the epistle was written on the third missionary journey, either early from Ephesus (about a. D. 53) or later (about 55) from Macedonia. In favor of this is the fact that Luke seems to use Galatia only to describe North Galatia (acts 16:6; 18:23 and parent. 

If the letter was written to Christians in South Galatia, the charges were founded on the first missionary journey, and the letter was written at the end of the journey (probably from Antioch, about a. D. 49, making it the earliest of Paul’s epistles) and the Jerusalem counsel (acts 15) convene shortly afterward. In favor of this dating is the fact that Paul does not mention the decision of the Jerusalem counsel that more directly on his Galatians argument concerning the Judaizers, indicating that the Council had not yet taken place. 

Key Verse 

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  – Galatians 1:8 

Major Themes 

The major themes discussed in his epistle, justification by faith and its defense, explanation, and application of the items discussed include Paul’s three years in Arabia (1:17), his correcting of Peter (2:11), the law is a teacher (3:24), and the fruit of the spirit (5:22 – 23). 

Doctrine 

  • Justification By Faith Alone 
  • Blessings received by faith in Christ 
  • Must be untied to Jesus by faith 
  • Blessings cannot be “earned” 
  • To abandon faith is to lose 

Outline 

  1. Greetings and Introduction 1:1-10 
    1. Paul’s Confidence in the Gospel 1:1-5 
    2. Paul’s Confusion and Rebuke 1:6-10 
  2. Paul’s Defense of Justification by Faith  
    1. His Authority 1:11-2:21  
      1. Premise of Revelation 1:11-24 
      2. Premise of Jerusalem Church 2:1-10 
      3. Premise of Authority to Rebuke Peter 2:11-21 
  3. Paul’s Explanation of Justification by Faith 3:1-4:31 
    1. The Believer’s Own Experience 3:1-5 
    2. The Children of Abraham 3:6-9 
    3. The Legal Requirement Satisfied 3:10-4:11 
    4. Personal Testimony of their Teacher 4:12-20 
    5. An Allegorical Argument 4:21-31 
  4. How Then to Apply to Life 5:1-6:10 
    1. How does Justification by Faith relate to our Liberty in Christ? 5:1-12 
    2. How does Justification by Faith relate to Love? 5:13-15 
    3. How does Justification by Faith relate to the Flesh and the Spirit? 5:16-26 
    4. What the Sins of a Brother? 6:1-5 
    5. What about Giving? 6:6-10 
  5. Instructions and Exhortations 6:11-18

References 

Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. The Ryrie Study Bible: King James Version. Chicago: Moody, 2008. Print.