The Place of the Letter

Galatia was a province in the southern region of Asia Minor. It is modern day Turkey. This region was comprised of Iconium, Lystra, and Debre. Paul visited Galatia twice, once while on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:6) and again on his third missionary journey (Acts 18:23).

The People of the Letter

The Galatians were Gauls, a nation of barbarians who invaded Greece in the third century before Christ. These Gauls were conquered by the Romans in 189 B.C. and became the province Galatia.

The Purpose of the Letter

The reason for this letter was to correct error in the churches of Galatia. The Judaizers had infiltrated the Galatian Church with their teachings, attempting to mix law with grace and faith with works. These false teachers had convinced the Galatians that they could not be saved by faith in Christ alone, but had to both believe in Christ and keep the law to be saved and remain saved. As a result, many of the Galatian believers had become victims of Legalism. So, Paul sets the record straight, setting forth and defending the pure gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Premise of the Letter

Few books have had a more powerful impact on the Church as the book of Galatians. This book has been called "The Charter Of Freedom," "The Christian Declaration Of Independence," and "The Magna Carta of Christian Liberty."

Chapter 1.
Paul's Greeting

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Galatians 1:1-5

The book of Galatians is called the "Christian's Declaration of Independence." Paul teaches and clearly establishes the fact that the Christian is free from the curse and bondage of the Law. After introducing himself, He powerfully argues the doctrine of justification by faith.

Paul's Mandate

Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) (Galatians 1:1) Paul begins this letter with a dogmatic declaration that he is an apostle... The word apostle means "a sent one" and carries the idea of a commissioned emissary or messenger. Paul became an apostle when he encountered the Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus road (Acts 9). Paul preached the gospel pure and straight just as it was given to him. He preached that Jesus Christ is the one and only Saviour. He preached faith in Christ apart from works (Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8-9). The legalists came in after Paul's departure and began mixing law with grace and faith with works. These false teachers had convinced many of the Galatians that they could not be saved by faith in Christ alone, but had to both believe in Christ and keep the law to be saved and remain saved. One of their methods of promoting their false doctrine was to question Paul's apostleship and authority claiming that he was not a genuine apostle. They figured that if they could question and discredit Paul's apostleship, they could cast 8 doubt on his message. This is the old philosophy of attacking the messenger if you don't like the message.

From the start Paul identifies himself as an Apostle. He makes it clear that his apostleship was ... not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father... Paul wanted it clearly understood that he was God's apostle. He wasn't sent by man or momma. He was God's man sent by God and no other.