Galatians 


An Outline




Background

  • Galatia was a region in what was called Asia Minor. Paul was addressing  several churches in this region. This is seen by the fact that when writing to christians in a city  he  uses the singular. cmp. Gal.1:2  & I Cor.1:2
  • Which  specific churches Paul was addressing has been the subject of much debate; the simplest answer is: the churches he had visited and established on his journeys. Not that it matters, for  often these debates detract from the real message of the book.
  • Galatians is probably one of Paul's earliest, if not the earliest of the, letters. It would appear to have been written in between the first two missionary journeys when the question of circumcision cropped up. Acts. 15
  • The message of Galatians is clear and so necessary for all  believers.

Message


In the early church Jews, whether converts or not, had tried to bring the Gentiles Christians into bondage by imposing on them the old Mosaic law. This, Paul argues, negates justification  by faith and walking in the Spirit. The Christian life is NOT lived by following some external law(s) but by living and walking in the Spirit.

A series of studies  on Galatians can be found  here

Chapter Outline

Jesus Christ our liberator

 

Section Sub-section Notes
A. God or man?  Ch.1-2
Paul's example in... The Galatians..
Apostleship 
1:1-5
 
  ...are  soon  removed 
1:6-10
Receiving the Gospel 1:11-17  
Labouring
1:18-2:10
 
Rebuking the works of the flesh 2:11-19  
Living the life
2:20-21
 
1. Paul is set forth as an example to us.
I Tim. 1:16

2. No word of praise or thanksgiving for the Galatians.


3. No request for prayer.


4. Begins with a reproof instead.
B. Flesh or Spirit? Ch. 3-5:15
Two ways The Galatians..
  Bewitched
3:1-4
Faith or works
 3:5-14
 
Promise or law
 3:15-25
 
Sons or servants
3:26-4:7
 
  Turned back
4:8-20
Jerusalem above or Sinai below 4:8-31  
Liberty or bondage
5:1-6
 
  • The Mosaic law was added because of transgression and was only temporary until Christ should come. 3:19
  • The Mosaic law was only a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, and having come to Him we are no longer under it.  3:24-28


  • The Old Covenant brings bondage, the New Covenant liberty 4:19-31

  • Going back to the law is works of the flesh  and we become fallen from grace. 5:1-16


  • The word law can mean different  things in scripture. The two relevant meanings here are either : the Mosaic law; or a general principle. The context determines which meaning is implied.
C. Fruit or works? Ch. 5:16 -6:18
End results The Galatians
  Hindered 5:7-15
Either flesh or Spirit
5:16-18
 
Works of the flesh
5:19-21
 
Fruit of the Spirit
5:22-23
 
Fruit seen in practice
5:24-6:18
 
Notice the three bares !

a) Bearing each others' burdens 6:2
(=gk. infirmities)

b) Bearing one's own burdens 6:5
(
= gk. responsibility)

c) Bearing the marks  of the Lord 6:17 ie. marks of   being persecuted.

 Some key words

  • 1:6  Removed = to transfer 
  • 1:7  Pervert =  change to the opposite
  • 3:1  Bewitched = to fascinate
  • 5:1  Liberty =  in greek society a slave to the temple would  had been deemed to have been bought by the 'gods', and could never be sold as a slave to anyone else.
  • 5:7  Hinder =  break up the road/place an obstacle
  • 5:8  Persuasion = Influence in order to win round.
  • 5:13 Occasion  = Bridgehead


Final Words

Although this is a small epistle, its message is very important. We are to stand in the freedom Christ has given to us and not allow anyone or anything to  draw us back into the works of the flesh. For example: modern Judaisers, religion of any sort, external do's and don'ts  or anything else  that gives an occasion for  the flesh.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Gal.5:1