Greetings! I thought I’d refresh some posts from my Bible Study Blog as I go through the books again. Today we start a study of Galatians. It is a fairly short book (only 6 chapters). I encourage you to read it through quickly or at least skim it, then go back through chapter by chapter in more depth.
Who wrote this and when was it written? The Apostle Paul wrote this in roughly A.D. 49.
Who was it written to? The churches in southern Galatia (Paul started them on his first missionary journey) and to all Christians.
Why was it written? To refute false teachers who claimed that you must follow Jewish customs to be saved, and to encourage people to live in faith and freedom in Christ.
I love Galatians. It is such an important book, because false teachers permeate the church today. Consider that the whole church was only 16 years old and the churches Paul was writing to were younger than that. But false teachings had already crept in.
The specific issues we face today are different than what the Galatians experienced. We don’t debate the necessity of circumcision, for example. But many people want to take the Gospel and add their own rules to it or to take things away from it. As Paul points out in the strongest possible language, we must present the true Gospel at all times:
Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
Many people falsely believe that being a Christian is about following rules to make God like us. Galatians emphasizes the great freedom we have as believers in Christ. He has already paid for our sins, so we can be free to live joyful, abundant lives. We are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus. Adding or subtracting from that is a profoundly bad idea, yet that is what false teachers do.
Galatians has important and great news for us. Read and enjoy!
Reflect on what stood out to you in this reading and share your comments and questions if you like.