This letter was written to the Galatians to warn them of the danger they faced from the ‘judaizers’ whohad come into their churches and were disrupting their faith in Christ by compelling them to return to the Lawand its commands. Specifically, these wolves were teaching that circumcision was still a necessary requirementfor life in God. Paul’s letter soundly refutes this idea and offer many proofs to the contrary; the most notable being that as believers in Jesus Christ we are free to live and love in His name and to hope to receive the promise spoken to Abraham so long ago. Paul reminds the believers in Galatia that the Law only brings death,never justification. Only through belief in God, and in His Son, Jesus, will one be saved. There is now a newLaw, the Law of Love- “Love your neighbor as yourself.”I have used (borrowed without consent is closer to the truth, but I have borrowed it respectfully!) anoutline written by Daniel B. Wallace that I retrieved from Bible.org. His outline condenses the arguments made by Paul and simplifies the entire letter in a manner that makes it very easy to follow Paul’s objectives. Withinthis outline I have added my own thoughts and comments (My work is bulleted.). All bible quotations are takenfrom the NASB (
New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update
. LaHabra, CA : The Lockman Foundation,1995).
In the introduction to this letter the author identifies himself as Paul, “an apostle.” Hespecifically stresses the point that he was not sent by men or through the authority of men butwas sent to preach the gospel through the direct agency of
“Jesus Christ and God the Father,who raised Him from the dead.”
Paul then addresses the apparent turning away of theGalatian believers from the gospel they had first received in order to align themselves withthis new and dangerous “different gospel.” Paul reminds them (and us) that it is not men thatwe are to fear or to try to please but God. The judaizers must be cast out.
Paul identifies himself as an apostle sent to the Gentiles not from man but fromJesus Christ and God. His message therefore is not from man nor does it carryman’s authority. His message, the gospel of Christ, the gospel of freedom, comesfrom God Himself and carries His almighty authority. This is an important pointto understand in reading the rest of this letter for it is against intruders in theGalatian church that Paul is writing.
Paul’s greeting carries a blessing of grace and peace from God and from Jesus,
“who gave Himself for our sins that He might rescue us”.
This is a mini-gospel presentation that carries with it all the weight of a full presentation such as wefind in Paul’s other letters. This is the core of the truth of the Gospel. This is whatwe teach to our youngest children, that Jesus died for our sins and that God raisedHim from the dead. It is this truth, that it is Jesus who saves and not the works of men, that Paul defends in this letter.
Word Study: Apostle
/ap·os·tol·os/] From 649; 81occurrences;
V translates as “apostle” 78 times, “messenger” twice, and “he thatis sent” once. 1 a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders. 1
specificallyapplied to the twelve apostles of Christ. 1
in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers.
of Timothy and Silvanus.
V Authorized Version
The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Test of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurence of Each Word in Regular Order
. electronic ed.
Outline of the Book of Galatians by Daniel B. Wallace
(Mr. Wallace’s outline in