#081 This is our first of eight episodes in our eleventh mini-series. This mini-series is entitled, Mystery of Christ | Galatians to 2 Thessalonians. On this episode we’re going to overview Galatians which has been noted as the single most important book that fueled the reformation of the church.
Now to the book of Galatians. Galatians was the key text that fueled the reformation of the church and its seminal doctrine of justification by grace through faith. Both Martin Luther and John Wesley noted the significant impact of this epistle on their lives and ministries.
Paul wrote the letter to the church in Galatia either from Ephesus between 53-56 A.D. or from Macedonia in 56 A.D. Many scholars consider the book of Galatians as a condensed version of Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Paul is believed to have written the book of Romans from Corinth in 57 A.D.
The location of the church receiving the letter in Galatia is not known as Galatia refers to a Roman political province in southern Asia Minor; the northern Mediterranean coast of the country of Turkey today. Paul visited this area planting churches on his first missionary journey with Barnabas. And again, returned to this area on his second and third missionary journeys.
The issue Paul was addressing in this letter were problems being raised in the church by the false teaching of Judaizers. These Judaizers were Jewish believers who sincerely believed a gentile had to become a Jew first, be circumcised, and then having faith in Jesus follow the law of Moses. They were instructing the Galatian believers to give up their freedom in Christ and return to bondage the Jews had lived with under the law. Paul adamantly rejects this false gospel of works and demonstrates that justification is by grace through faith, apart from works of the law.
The epistle is only six chapters and can be divided into three sections. In Chapters 1 and 2, Paul defends the gospel of grace. He explains the gospel of grace in Chapters 3 and 4. And finally, he describes how the gospel of grace is applied in Chapters 5 and 6. With all this an as introduction, let’s get started with our overview of the book.
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