1. Paul's Apostleship (1-2)
a. Introduction (1:1-5)
b. The One Gospel (1:6-9)
c. The Origin of Paul's Gospel (1:10-24)
d. The Freedom of the Gospel (2:1-21)
2. The Law and The Gospel (3-4)
a. Faith Versus the Works of the Law (3:1-18)
b. The Purpose of the Law (3:19-29)
c. Sonship Versus Slavery (4:1-11)
d. Paul's Love for the Brethren (4:12-20)
e. The Bondwoman and the Free (4:21-31)
3. Freedom Versus Bondage (5)
a. Falling From Grace (5:1-15)
b. Walking in the Spirit (5:16-26)
4. Brotherly Love (6:1-10)
5. True Christianity (6:11-18)
The territory known as Galatia at the time of Paul had once
belonged to the Galls. It was the region of modern-day Turkey that
included the cities Paul visited on his first missionary journey:
Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe (these latter two
cities are also called "cities of Lycaonia"). It was at Derbe that
Paul met Timothy (Acts 16:1). A study of Acts 13:13 reveals that one
of Paul's main problems was opposition by the Jews. They became
adversaries out of jealousy in Antioch of Pisidia (Acts 13:42-50).
Then these Jews made it a point to follow Paul around (Acts 14:2, 19).
Some of these men may have posed as Christians, and they may have
adversely affected some of the new converts. One way or another,
many of the Jewish Christians were beginning to return to the Law of
Moses, which is the occasion of this letter.
We do not know when or from what place Paul wrote this letter,
although it has long been regarded as his earliest epistle. In light
of the fact that Paul marvels how soon they were removed from the true
gospel (Gal. 1:6) and the fact that he remained in Antioch of Syria "a
long time," it may be that he wrote it before the Jerusalem conference
of Acts 15. This heresy reached Antioch, however, by means of certain
men from Judea (Acts 15:1). A good guess is that the letter was
written about A.D. 55.
The word law appears 32 times in this short book; faith occurs
22 times; liberty (or free) is used (as noun, adjective, or verb) 11
times. Other prominent words are promise, flesh, spirit, and bondage.
VERSES TO MEMORIZE
1:8 "But even if we, or an angel of heaven, preach any other
gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him
2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who
live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live
in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved
me and gave Himself for me."
3:13 "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having
become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone
who hangs on a tree')."
3:26 "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus."
3:27 "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on
3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor
free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in
4:16 "Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the
5:3 "And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that
he is a debtor to keep the whole law."
5:4 "You who have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to
be justified by the law; you have fallen from grace."
5:13 "...but through love serve one another."
6:1 "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are
spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness,
considering yourself lest you also be tempted."
6:2 "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
6:7-8 "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man
sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh
will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the
Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
6:9 "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season
we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
6:10 "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all,
especially those who are of the household of faith."
1:6-9 There is but one Gospel.
2:3-5 Non-Jews do not need to behave as Jews in order to be
2:11-14 Paul rebukes Peter.
3:6-16 Old Testament quotations (6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16),
including "The just shall live by faith."
4:21-31 Abraham's children-an allegory.
5:1 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty..."
5:19-21 The works of the flesh.
5:22-23 The fruit of the spirit.
6:14 There is only one thing in which to glory-the cross
*Send comments or questions concerning this survey to Gary Summers.[New Testament Survey Index]