Summary of Galatians
rev. by Kristofer Phan Coffman (03/2023)
Paul writes to the churches in Galatia out of deep concern that they are forsaking the gospel that he has preached and are listening instead to the message of certain Jewish evangelists who are arguing that A gentile is anyone who is not Jewish. The term, which is derived from words that the Bible uses to denote the “nations” of the world, reflects beliefs that God had designated Israel as a nation that would be distinct from others, and a blessing… Mores must be circumcised according to Jewish law before they can follow Christ. Paul, himself a Jew, insists that people are justified by faith in Christ rather than by keeping the requirements of The Torah is the law of Moses, also known as the first five books of the Bible. To many the Torah is a combination of history, theology, and a legal or ritual guide. More. By faith, they participate in the death and resurrection of Christ and now live as God’s children and heirs of God’s promises. By the Spirit’s leading, this life of faith is no longer marked by sinful works of the flesh but bears fruit in freedom that serves the neighbor through love.
Galatians achieves its goal when those who read it are enabled to hear the good news that God has called each one of them by the Grace is the unmerited gift of God’s love and acceptance. In Martin Luther’s favorite expression from the Apostle Paul, we are saved by grace through faith, which means that God showers grace upon us even though we do not deserve it. More of Christ. All are justified and made right with God by faith in Christ and not by doing the works of the law. That we are children of God according to God’s promise in Christ is not just wishful thinking; it is the promise that in the cross of Christ we are really a new creation–freed, transformed, and empowered by the Spirit’s leading for loving service of the neighbor.
WHERE DO I FIND IT?
Paul’s Letter to the Galatians is the ninth book in the New Testament. It is situated in the midst of the “The Pauline corpus is the body of New Testament letters known to have been written by the apostle Paul. The seven epistles generally accepted as being by Paul are 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, Philemon, Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Romans. The authorship of the remaining… More,” the collection of letters attributed to the Derived from a Greek word meaning “one who is sent,” an apostle is a person who embraces and advocates another person’s idea or beliefs. At the beginning of his ministry Jesus called twelve apostles to follow and serve him. Paul became an apostle of Jesus… More Paul (the books of Romans through Philemon).
WHO WROTE IT?
The Letter to the Galatians was written by the Apostle Paul to Galatian churches founded earlier during one of his missionary journeys through Asia Minor. The letter was occasioned by Paul’s hearing about conflicts over the message of the gospel stirred up by some who argued that the Galatians needed to be circumcised to be included as children of God.
WHEN WAS IT WRITTEN?
While all the so-called genuine letters of Paul were probably written between 51 and 57 C.E., the precise dating of Galatians within that span depends largely on the locations of the churches to whom the apostle wrote. The more satisfactory theory that these recipients were in north Galatia, together with the fact that a number of the letter’s central themes are worked out in more depth in the Letter to the Romans, suggests a date closer to the writing of Romans, perhaps 55-56 C.E.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Paul writes a letter out of disappointment and concern that proponents of Circumcision is an act of cutting off part of a male (or female) sex organ for religious or health reasons. In the Bible circumcision was performed on males to indicate inclusion into the Jewish religious community. Some church calendars commemorate January 1 as the Circumcision… More are placing the Galatian churches at risk of forsaking the good news of the freedom that is theirs by God’s call through faith in Jesus Christ and by the power of the Spirit’s leading.
HOW DO I READ IT?
Galatians is one of the most intense of Paul’s letters, and it is important to read it in a way that appreciates this intensity. Also, the letter presents a tightly woven argument in support of a central thesis about the nature of the gospel. This gospel of justification through faith in Jesus Christ is anchored in the cross of Jesus and in the gracious call of the God who raised Jesus from the dead, thereby inaugurating a new Creation, in biblical terms, is the universe as we know or perceive it. Genesis says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In the book of Revelation (which speaks of end times) the author declares that God created all things and… More that lives by the power of God’s promise in Christ Jesus. The faithful reader will need to be open to hearing that call, experiencing the gift of freedom that has the power to transform people into those who express such freedom in practical love of the neighbor.