This is the Table of Contents for the Section by Section discussion of Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
According to the will of our God and Father, Jesus gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age.
The Galatians accepting a very dangerous distortion of the gospel. If they continue on their path, “Christ will be of no benefit to you” (5:2).
Paul did not receive his message second-hand from the apostles, but directly from Jesus Christ through a revelation.
The Traditions of the Elders were supposed to ensure that people obey God’s Law but the emphasis on outward behavior shifts the focus away from God to self.
Paul defends his authority. God appointed him as the apostle to the Gentiles. He was not sent from men but through Jesus Christ.
As an example of his message, Paul took an uncircumcised Gentile Christian with him when he visited the church leaders in Jerusalem. The church leaders accepted Titus, and, by implication, Paul’s message.
God gave Peter a vision to say that the church must accept Gentiles without them converting to Judaism. But Peter submitted to the Circumcision Party which demanded the circumcision of Gentile Christians.
The Acts 15 Church Council agreed with Paul and decided that Gentile Christians do not have to convert to Judaism to be saved.
Through his teachings, Paul destroyed the Law of commandments contained in ordinances which formed a dividing wall that separates Jewish and Gentile Christians.
“Released from the Law,” Paul has “died to the Law,” serves “not in oldness of the letter” but has “destroyed” “the Law of commandments.”
The Galatians attempted to earn “righteousness” through the Law. Thereby they nullified “the grace of God,” for, since they trust in the rituals and ceremonies of the Law, they do not trust the grace of God.
OVERVIEW GALATIANS 1 & 2
Jewish Christians took a distortion of the gospel to Galatia. Their goal was to convert these Gentile Christians into Judaism. To support this, they argued that man is justified by the works of the Law.
The Galatians did not need the works of the Law to receive the Spirit and miracles. But now they want to continue in their own power. That is not logical. They are at risk of eternal loss. If you receive circumcision, if you seek to be justified by law, you have fallen from grace (Gal 5:2-4).
Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. This means that non-believing Jews are no longer regarded as Abraham’s children.
No one is justified before God by the Law because no one is able to fully comply with the law. People that seek to be justified by obeying the Law remain under the curse. The only way in which God redeems us is by faith through Jesus Christ. Through Christ’s sacrifice, God reconciled us to Himself.
Jesus Christ is Abraham’s true Seed. As such, He inherited the Covenant promises. God’s covenant with Abraham was never conditional on the Law of Moses. The Law was for Israel; the Covenant for all of God’s people.
God gave the Law to Israel to serve as their guardian to keep them on the right path. The Law was never able to impart eternal life: Eternal life is granted those who believe. This was true before Christ came and is still true today. When Christ came, He became our Tutor, and we no longer need the Law to keep us on the right path. Law and Promises have different functions. Man is not justified by the Law. Christians are not subject to the Law of Moses, but to the Law of Christ.
There is no difference between circumcised and uncircumcised Christians. There is no need to circumcise Gentile Christians. Physical Israel no longer has a separate role in God’s plan.
Overview of Galatians chapter 1 to 3
The danger of and arguments against compelling Gentile Christians to be circumcised
- Building …
WHEN WAS GALATIANS WRITTEN?
Galatians was written before the Church Council in Jerusalem in Acts 15; therefore somewhere in AD48-50. It represents Paul’s arguments before the council.
THE REAL DANGER
The Galatians were at risk of losing their eternal inheritance. Jewish Christians compelled them to be circumcised, but the real danger was that they would convert to Judaism, seeking to earn salvation.
BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH
Jewish Christians argued that man is “justified by the works of the Law.” In contrast, Paul argued for advocated teach taught a different law (the Law of Christ) and a different means of justification (by grace through faith).
How sinners are justified was the great controversy in the Church in Paul’s day. Today we agree that sinners are justified by grace through faith but we still disagree about HOW sinners are made just.
Christ is the Vehicle through which we are rescued from this present evil age;
Moses taught that Jews will “live by” obedience to the Law, but Paul was fond of Habakkuk, who said that Jews will live by faith.