How to Study • the Bible
Getting the “Big Picture” The Message of the Book
Discerning Paul’s purpose, the central idea of Galatians • Determining the central, unifying theme of Galatians • Why Paul wrote this letter
Discerning Paul’s purpose, the central idea of Galatians • What does Paul emphasize in his opening greeting? What do we learn about Paul, about the Galatians?
About Paul the author: • He had a special commission as apostle to the Gentiles, 1:16 • Once a violent persecutor of the church but now transformed into a preacher of Christ, 1:23 • He was independent of, but endorsed by the apostles, 2:9 • He was a staunch opponent of Judaizers, 2:1-5, 11-14
Is the founder of the church and their spiritual father 4:19-20 • Illness prompted his ministry 4:13 • The Holy Spirit and miracles were evident 3:2,5 • They were bonded together in love, 4:15-16; 6:11 • His credentials were well known to them 1:13-14
About the Church: • Multiple churches, not one, 1:2 • falling prey to a new, deviant, and entirely false gospel, 1:6-9 • Judaizers have infiltrated,1:6-7 • they endured persecution, 3:4 • were familiar with the O.T., 3:6-9 • included a Jewish minority, 3:27
About the Church: • Churches planted by Paul, 4:13 • They revered Paul highly, 4:14 • They loved Paul enough to sacrifice their eyes for him, 4:15 • Uncircumcised Gentiles being misled by Judaizers, 5:2, 7-12 • should be mature but vulnerable to false teaching, 5:7-12
But which Galatia? South? or North? Political? Or Ethnographical? First mission? Or Second mission? 49- 50 A.D.? Or 53- 57 A.D.? Before Acts 15 Or After Jsm council From Antioch? Or From Corinth?
Paul’s first • missionary • journey
Paul’s second • journey
About our salvation Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age(1:3-5) • 1. We live in an evil world (age)! • 2. We have been rescued from it! • 3. It is all through Christ’s sacrifice!
Discerning Paul’s purpose, the central idea of Galatians • Does Paul state his reason for writing Galatians? If not, are there clues, indications of his purpose?
Galatians 1:6-8 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
Galatians 1:9-10 As we have said before, so say I again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:11-12 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. • “gospel” appears 11 times, • all in the first 4 chapters!
Discerning Paul’s purpose, the central idea of Galatians • Is there a key (definitive) statement in Galatians? What verse summarizes (states) it most clearly?
Key verses of Galatians: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, 2:16 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, stand firm, then, do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 5:1
Controversy at Galatia • Strikes at the very heart of the gospel • Substitutes “another” gospel (non-gospel) • Misrepresents grace • Eliminates the cross • Brings bondage
Central Idea of Galatians Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone!
Where are the major divisions? (Where and how does the content change in the book? Are there significant changes in people, subject, ideas, or tone?) Discerning Paul’s plan, the logical order of Galatians
Galatians 3:1-2 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; thereforekeep standing firmand do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Discerning Paul’s plan, the logical order of Galatians • Are there logical connectors indicating the progression? Do repeated words/phrases identify Paul’s thought process in Galatians? • “For,” “Then,” “But,” “So,” “So then,”
Discerning Paul’s plan, the logical order of Galatians • How do the paragraph summaries correlate with the central idea? How do they reveal Paul’s thought process?
Galatians: • 1:1-5 -Introduction, Paul to the churches of Galatia • 1:6-10 -Statement of the problem: “another gospel?” • 1:11-17 -Gospel came to Paul by revelation from Christ • 1:18-24 -Gospel did not come to Paul from/through men • 2:1-10 -Paul’s gospel confirmed by other apostles • 2:11-14 -Paul defended the truth of the gospel before Peter • 2:15-21 -Content of the gospel introduced (justification by faith) • 3:1-5 -Center of the gospel: justification by faith not the Law • 3:6-9 -Confirmation of the gospel: Abraham justified by faith • 3:10-14 -Contrast of the gospel of promise/faith with the Law • 3:15-18 -Gospel completes the promise of God to Abraham • 3:19-22 -Gospel/promise does not contradict, it completes the Law • 3:23-29 -Gospel of promise frees us (Law only brings us to Christ) • Subject- the gospel • Source of the gospel • Confirmation of the gospel • Explanation of the gospel • The gospel contrasted with Law
Galatians: • 4:1-7 -Culmination of the gospel: it turns slaves into sons • 4:8-11 -Paul’s fear for them: returning to slavery/Law • 4:12-20 -Paul’s perplexity that they have changed so much • 4:21-31 -Contrast of two sons, of the free-woman and of the slave • 5:1-6 -Application of the gospel: Stand firm in Christ & freedom • 5:7-12 -Beware the enemies of freedom and of Christ • 5:13-15 -Be careful not to abuse your freedom • 5:16-24 -Be controlled by the Spirit if you want to enjoy freedom • 5:25-6:5-Be careful to examine yourself (be self controlled) • 6:6-10 -Be careful to encourage (serve) others • 6:11-17-Paul’s personal example and deep concern • 6:18 -Concluding benediction • Call to-freedom • Cost of going back- slavery • Appeal to action • Threats to freedom • Source of freedom • Responsibilities of freedom
Galatians: Paul’s Defense of the Gospel of Justification by Faith • The Gospel: Justification is by faith not by the works of the Law • Paul’s defense of the gospel from attacks of Judaizers seeking to place Gentile believers under the Law • Source of the gospel- Jesus Christ Substance of the gospel- justification by faith Application of the gospel-freedom in the Spirit • Chapters 1 & 2 Chapters 3 & 4 Chapters 5 & 6 • 1:1-5 -Introduction, Paul to the churches of Galatia • 1:6-10 -Statement of the problem: “another gospel?” • 1:11-24 -Gospel came to Paul by revelation from Christ not from man • 2:1-14 -Gospel confirmed by other apostles, defended by Paul • 2:15-21 -Content of the gospel introduced (justification by faith) • 3:1-5 -Center of the gospel: justification by faith not the Law • 3:6-9 -Confirmation of the gospel: Abraham justified by faith • 3:10-14 -Contrast of the gospel of promise/faith with the Law • 3:15-18 -Gospel completes the promise of God to Abraham • 3:19-29 -Gospel/promise sets us free (Law only brings us to Christ) • 4:1-7 -Culmination of the Gospel: it turns slaves into sons • 4:8-20 -Paul’s fear for them: returning to slavery/Law • 4:21-31 -Illustration of gospel: two sons, of the free woman & of the slave • 5:1-6 -Application of the gospel: Stand firm in your freedom in Christ • 5:7-15 -Admonition- beware enemies of freedom: legalism & license • 5:16-24 -Be controlled by the Spirit if you want to enjoy your freedom • 5:25-6:10-Exercise your freedom in Christ responsibly • 6:11-16 -Paul’s personal example and deep concern • 6:17-18 -Conclusion
Argument of Galatians: Personal section: 1-2 Paul’s apostleship defended Doctrinal section: 3-4 Justification by faith defended Practical section: 5-6 Freedom in Christ defended
Argument of Galatians: Source of Paul’s gospel: 1-2 by God’s revelation alone Substance of Paul’s gospel: 3-4 justification by faith alone Application of Paul’s gospel: 5-6 live free by the Spirit alone
Paul’s appeal to us today: • Guard the truth/purity of the Gospel!Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone! • Never forget what grace cost Christ! Christ set us free from the Law by bearing its/our curse on the cross. • Never use grace as a cloak for sinWe are justified by faith alone and set free from sin not for or to sin.
Paul’s appeal to us today: • Always walk in & by the Holy SpiritLet us not abuse grace but stand firm and live free by the Holy Spirit! • Cherish and champion the cross! Let us joyfully embrace the cross and live by faith in Jesus, the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us!
Next week: Exploring Galatians What do we learn about, -the author Paul? -the churches of Galatia? -the threat of legalism? -the abuse of grace? -the relevance for today?