Introduction to Galatians
Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, wrote this letter to the believers in Galatia around A.D. 58. It was written to expose false teaching, and in defense of the “pure gospel”. After Paul had preached in Galatia, and established the church, others came down from Jerusalem and taught many false ideas which some of the Galatians accepted. These false teachers mixed Jewish religion and keeping Jewish laws, along with teaching salvation through Jesus Christ. They taught that salvation depended not only on belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, but also on abiding by Jewish law. They also taught that leading a separate life as believers, required the keeping of the Law, as well as Jewish ritual and the help of the Holy Spirit.
Paul marveled that they had departed from the grace of Christ unto another gospel (1:6). Galatians 1:8 and 9 warn of this false teaching. Read 2:16 and 20.
Paul’s heart was broken over the condition of the Galatians. (3:1-3) “The just shall live by faith”, is an important doctrine of the grace of God. It is quoted in Galatians 3:11, Romans 1:17, Hebrews 10:38, and in the Old Testament book of Habakkuk 2:4. These words about the just living by faith have had a tremendous influence in many lives, among them Martin Luther and John Wesley.
A believer is saved by the grace of God, by faith in Christ alone, and not by works. See Ephesians 2:8-10, and 3:17. The grace of God teaches holy living. Read Titus 2:11-15. Grace teaches believers to live for Him and to look for Him. We work for God because we are already saved, and not to be saved by these works. The Galatians were trying to mix grace and law.
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