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 GALATIANS: INTRODUCTION


AUTHOR: “Paul” (1:1; 5:2)

RECIPIENTS: “churches of Galatia” (1:2)

1. Located in central Asia Minor (Acts 16:6, 18:23); invaded by the Gauls in approximately 279 B.C.

2. Galatia was conquered by the Romans in 189 B.C., and the people were allowed to be governed by their own prince.

3. In 25 B.C., King Amyntas’ rule came to an end, and a Roman appointed governor began.

4. Galatia became a Roman province including southern cities as Antioch, Iconium, Derbe and Lystra (Acts 13:13-14:25).

DATE: A. D. 56-57 (Time of writing of 2 Corinthians)

PLACE: Macedonia (Acts 20:1)?

THEME AND PURPOSE FOR THE EPISTLE:

1. Theme: superiority of the Gospel over the Law in making man righteous

2. Purpose:

a. Defend Paul’s apostleship

b. Counteract the teaching of the persuasive Judaizing teachers

OUTLINE OF THE BOOK (Adapted from Baxter’s EXPLORE THE BOOK)

I. THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE GOSPEL (Chapters 1-2) – PERSONAL NARRATIVE

A. Genuine in its origin (Chapter 1)

B. Genuine in its nature (Chapter 2)

II. THE SUPERIORITY OF THE GOSPEL (Chapters 3-4) – DOCTRINAL ARGUMENT

A. In the new relation it effects (Chapter 3)

B. In the new privileges it releases (Chapter 4)

III. THE TRUE LIBERTY OF THE GOSPEL (Chapters 5-6) – PRACTICAL APPLICATION

A. A freedom to serve others, not a license to serve self

IV. POSTSCRIPT (6:11-18) - SUMMATION AND APPEAL


FEATURES OF THE BOOK:

1. Judaizing teachers: Problem in Galatia

a. “Some trouble you” – perverting the gospel of Christ (1:7)

b. Selfish glory motivates their pursuit (4:17)

c. Teaching mandatory circumcision only to escape persecution (6:12)

d. Desire the Law, but do not keep it (6:13)

2. Paul’s apostleship defended:

a. Not of, or through man (1:1)

b. Following conversion, Paul conferred not with flesh and blood (1:16)

c. After 14 years, Paul went to Jerusalem, and those of repute did not impart anything to Paul; apostles recognized his                 authority (2:6).

3. Gospel plan of justification by faith supersedes the Law

a. Through the Gospel comes: Justification (3:24); sonship (3:26); inheritance (3:29; 4:7)

b. Through the Law comes: curse (3:10, 11, 13); bondage (3:23-4:7)

c. Allegory: children of the freewoman and those of the handmaid (4:21-31)

4. Practical Application:

a. The appeal to serve the spirit instead of the flesh; handy checklist (5:16-26)

b. One should pay careful attention to self when restoring others to a place of usefulness in God’s service (6:1-5).

c. One should share good things with those who have taught them God’s Word (6:6).

d. One should do good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith             (6:10).