Galatians Part 1

Written 53 A.D +-1 or 58-60 A.D.

One of the main purposes of the letter is to explain where justification comes from or how we are and how we aren’t justified.

Galatians is looked at by theologians as a book to do away with the law. They look at it in terms of Law OR Grace. This is not the right way to view it rather we should be looking at it in terms of Law AND Grace.

From the beginning let me be crystal clear about one thing: We CANNOT earn salvation! It is impossible!

Salvation is a gift from God! A gift! Something that was given to us that we do not deserve.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is from God and NOT earned – like many other gifts in the Bible: grace, repentance, faith, forgiveness, righteousness and even justification!

Justified means to be made righteous; they have the same root word in common

Righteousness means a state of being right with God; state or condition conforming to the perfect law and character of God;

Psalms 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

Only God is inherently righteous We are not! So we must be made that way

What we will find is that Galatians does not abolish the 10 commandments or the law; but at the same time justification nor salvation can be earned – it is a gift of God.

We cannot be justified by our works
We must have righteous works though
We can do nothing to pay for our past sins
Our sins cannot be forgiven by what WE do
The only way to have sins forgiven is to repent, accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and have His blood cover it – this is offered to us freely or by grace.

By grace through faith we are saved and not of ourselves. Works cannot earn the forgiveness of sin.

That being said, let’s notice the what was said of Paul c. 59AD

Acts 28:23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.

Paul taught them Jesus Christ using the Law as his basis

We covered this in the Book of Romans series, starting with this one Romans 1

Romans was written after Galatians.

So going into the book of Galatians we will talk about Christianity, about Law AND Grace. We will continue to expound on this as we go….

Galatians 1

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),

Establishes his authority (because it was being challenged)

Apostle: one sent forth on a mission; like an envoy who is commissioned by a king with a message;

Commissioned by Jesus Christ with a message

Not by man! We will see why he emphasizes this throughout this chapter

Acts 13:1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Acts 13:3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

Galatians 1:2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

Galatia was a region not actually a town: Antioch, Pisidia, Iconia, Lystra, Derbe, Cilicia, Syria

Galatians 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,

We can’t just read over this

Grace: Charis: favor [towards another; us][can you do me a favor, not based on what I have done] a giving love [redundant]; gracious; grace: God’s undeserved favor

Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

GRACE—which is God’s unmerited pardon for us by which we can obtain forgiveness from sin. It is the law that defines sin.

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

*If there is no law, then why do we need grace?

Law and Grace go together

Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

We do not earn it. We have to stop sinning repent be converted

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
Romans 3:29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,
Romans 3:30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Next thing of note in :3

No mention of the Holy Spirit; and the Father first

John 14:28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

Galatians 1:4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
Galatians 1:5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Willingly gave Himself for 1. our sins and 2. to deliver us

He was adequate for our sins

There were others that said more was needed

How can we be made right in God’s sight – by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice

Deliver: rescue from the this present evil world. To pluck or draw out.

In other words we are saved (Salvation): means saving; rescue; from death penalty;

Salvation is a rescue;

1. we are being saved IN this world;
2. saved from the world

World: aion; age

Worlds:  Old world; present evil; world tomorrow

2 Peter 3:5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
2 Peter 3:6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

Hebrews 2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.

Ephesians 1:20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
Ephesians 1:21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Heart of the Problem

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

What an eye popping opening

Turning: transposing two things to put one in the place of another; turncoat

different: another of a different kind

not the gospel about Christ, but the gospel of Christ. Another way of saying this is “Christ’s gospel”

Galatians 1:7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Pervert: reverse, change to the opposite

Same problem existed in Colossae; we will see later

Trouble: disturb the peacefulness of the mind

(Same is happening today)

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

What was the gospel of Christ, Christ’s gospel? It was the gospel of the Kingdom of God:

Mark 1:14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
Mark 1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

It was the same gospel that Paul preached

Acts 14:20 …. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

It is the same gospel that the all the others preached

Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
Luke 9:2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

It is the exact same gospel that we preach and will be preached until the second coming of Christ

The Olivet prophecy of end-time events

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Back to:

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

accursed: anathema: let them be set apart for destruction

says it twice as if he is pronouncing a double curse.

But the point is clear that if Paul or an angel is selling you a different bill of goods, don’t listen to them.

Now both of these you recognize as an authority – so how much less should you listen to or give heed to ANYONE else who comes to you with something else that they are pushing as THE gospel?

This is the root cause of why Paul had to write this letter to Galatia. They had been swayed by the Judaizers and/or Gnostics or Gnostic Judaizers

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Not here to say smooth words or find favor among men. The truth of God often goes against the carnal way that we think (Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.) this is why it is so often rejected and vilified – nonetheless, we are under an obligation to preach the Gospel and speak the truth and naturally this was Paul’s approach

Paul’s conversion

Galatians 1:11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

This did not come from the imagination of a man or men. This is completely God ordained and God given

Directly from Jesus Christ to Paul; the source of his knowledge. He was combatting Gnosticism

Gnosticism in the early church looks like many of todays teachings in

  • Immortality of the soul
  • False Christ, the world is being given a different idea of who He really is.
  • Once saved always saved

Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.

Name of the church: Church of God

Galatians 1:14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

Tradition: give from the presence of; act of transmission of that which is transmitted

This is fine if it does not contradict the scriptures or take the place of scriptures or given the status of scripture. There are good traditions, those that are ok, but that is not what he talking about here.

Matthew 15:1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,
Matthew 15:2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
Matthew 15:3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, saying, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER’; and, ‘HE WHO CURSES FATHER OR MOTHER, LET HIM BE PUT TO DEATH.’
Matthew 15:5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”—
Matthew 15:6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.
Matthew 15:7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
Matthew 15:8 ‘THESE PEOPLE DRAW NEAR TO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME.
Matthew 15:9 AND IN VAIN THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.’ “

Pharisees thought that they were justified (made righteous) because of their made up rules

So to be clear here this term is not alluding to the Old Testament laws but to the regulations that were man-made. We have covered these arduous and burdensome controls and governance that these religious leaders enacted.