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28 August, 2015

Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — Galatians Introduction

Study 0 From The Book of Galatians Is:  Introduction to Galatians

The particular situation with which the Epistle deals must be kept in mind if its great argument is to be understood. Paul had preached the gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ to the Galatians, who were of Gentile race.  They had welcomed him with enthusiasm, and many had believed (4:14, 15). But, they had later been visited by Jewish-minded Christian teachers who had told them that it was not enough simply to believe on Jesus Christ: they must also be circumcise and keep the law of Moses.  These teachers had further cast doubts upon Paul’s apostleship, and had sought to undermine his authority. We can understand with what mingled sorrow, indignation and deep concern Paul refutes the teaching of the legalists, and defends both his own position and the truth of the gospel which he had proclaimed.

The question at issue assumes a different form today, but is nonetheless vital. Is acceptance with God to be obtained by any effort of ours, or is it, as the gospel declared, the free gift of God’s grace through the redemptive work of Christ, to be obtained by faith alone?  The enduring value of this Epistle lies in the answer given by Paul, under the inspiration of the Spirit, to this question.