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Galatians: Christian Freedom
Galatians was the first of Paul's letters. After returning from his mission trip to Galatia, he wrote to the churches that he had planted. When he departed a group of Christians called Judaizers, came and preached a different gospel than the one Paul had preached. They wanted the Galatian believers to add the boundary markers (circumcision, food laws, and calendar events) of Judaism to their Christian faith. When Paul discovered that this group had followed his ministry and tried to destroy it with a distorted gospel, he became rather heated and wrote Galatians. His intention was to recover any who had been lost because of the false teaching about conversion and to keep others from accepting the teaching of the Judaizers. In addition, he defended himself from personal attacks, like the accusation that he was not really a genuine apostle.
Paul answers his theological enemies in three ways:
- He defended his
apostolic authority and the validity of his teaching (1.1-2.21).
- He exposed
the Galatians to the doctrine of justification by faith and faith alone (3.1-4.31).
- Paul concludes his teaching by demonstrating lifestyle that believers should live in this present evil age (5.1-6.18).
Thought To Contemplate
If you are challenged by a rigid religious personality, reading Galatians several times may allow the work of the Holy Spirit to soften your outlook on the freedom of being a believer.
Read in short sections with no chapters or verse