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New Testament Survey : Book of Galatians. Street in the modern city of Damascus. The Author. Paul’s authorship of this book to the Galatian churches is certain Salutation (1:1) First two chapters are an autobiography of Paul’s life—from his conversion to the writing of the letter

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New testament survey book of galatians

New Testament Survey:Book of Galatians

Street in the modern city of Damascus

The author
The Author

  • Paul’s authorship of this book to the Galatian churches is certain

  • Salutation(1:1)

  • First two chapters are an autobiography of Paul’s life—from his conversion to the writing of the letter

  • 14 years between visits to Jerusalem; the first in Acts 9; 3 years in Arabia

Date of writing
Date of Writing

  • Paul was converted sometime between 31 and 36 AD

  • 17-year interval(2:1)

  • Subsequent to the Jerusalem meeting regarding the circumcision problem (Acts 15)

  • Followed Peter’s visit to Antioch(2:11-14)

  • Written between 55 and 57 AD

To whom written
To Whom Written

  • Galatia was originally in the northeastern part of Asia Minor

  • Mixed population of Greeks, Romans, and Jewish people

  • Quick to give up and easily influenced

  • Paul visited the area twice:Acts 16:6; 18:23

  • Letter written after 2nd visit(4:13-16)

To whom written1
To Whom Written

  • In 25 BC, the original Gaulic region was designated the new province of Galatia

  • Paul preached in south Galatia on his first tour—Pisidia, Lyconia, Phrygia

  • Paul preached in north Galatia on his second visit

  • Letter addressed to all the churches in the Roman Province of Galatia

Purpose of the epistle
Purpose of the Epistle

  • The churches had begun well; after Paul’s departure, they were drawn away(5:7)

  • Judaizing teachers caused problems over circumcision of Gentile converts

  • They had redemption in Christ, Judaizers sought to bind Moses’ Law on them

  • Justification determined by works of the Law

Purpose of the epistle1
Purpose of the Epistle

  • No flesh can be justified by works of the Law

  • Parallels arguments in the book of Romans

  • Expressed with warmth and vehemence

  • Tactic of Judaizing teachers—attack Paul’s apostleship

  • Destroy confidence in Paul—convert the Galatians to their false teaching!

Contents and character
Contents and Character

  • First part mainly historic(chapters 1,2)

  • Charged Paul not one of the original 12 apostles—should not be accepted as an apostle

  • What he had learned about the gospel came from men—not God (false charge)

  • Arrayed Paul against Peter and other apostles regarding circumcision

  • This explains why Paul spent time discussing his own credentials

Contents and character1
Contents and Character

  • Paul affirmed his work was not of men(1:1)

  • Did not receive the gospel from men(1:11,12)

  • After his conversion, Paul went to Arabia for three years(1:15-17)

  • Brief 15-day visit to Jerusalem seeing only Peter and James (1:20-24)

  • After 14 years, he went up to Jerusalem, by “revelation,” to confer about preaching to the Gentiles(2:1-10)

Contents and character2
Contents and Character

  • No dependence on other apostles

  • Withstood Peter to face when his hypocrisy had caused a problem (2:11-14)

  • Letter’s second part argues that God makes men righteous by faith in Christ—not works of the Law!

  • Abraham was justified by faith before the Law(3:6-9,18)

  • The Law cannot justify sinners; it only condemns(3:10-12)

Contents and character3
Contents and Character

  • In His own time, God sent His Son (4:4,5)

  • Paul warned of the danger in following the Old Law(4:6-11)

  • Paul knew of their love for him—how could he now be their enemy(4:14-16)

  • Warned them of the false teachers and their dishonest intentions (4:17-21)

  • The allegory—free woman and the bond woman(4:22-31)

Contents and character4
Contents and Character

  • Requiring circumcision binds them to keep the whole law—and they are fallen from grace!(5:4)

  • Third part of letter is of practical character

  • Exhorts the Galatian Christians to use Christian liberty in a worthy manner—putting to death their fleshly lusts (5:17-21)

  • Must seek to bear one another burdens(6:1-5)

  • Duties they have as brethren (6:6-10)

Contents and character5
Contents and Character

  • Hold steadfastly to the liberty that can be found only in Christ!

  • Reject being bound to the Law of Moses or to fleshly lusts—walk after the Spirit(5:1-26)

  • The basic theme is clearly summed up with this exhortation…(5:1)

  • Some have called the Galatian Epistle the“Magna Carta of Christian Liberty”