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Summary: Introduction to Galatians

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GALATIANS - Liberty

INTRODUCTION: Galatians was the 1st Epistle written by Paul. It presents the most vital New Testament message concerning faith versus works for salvation. While insisting that we avoid legalism as a requirement for salvation, Paul here encourages us to spiritual maturity so that we will not be easily swayed by falsehood.

I. The Author of the Book -

A. Paul (1:1 & 10:1) - Though his name only appears twice, 1st person pronouns are used 104 times.

B. The only NT Epistle written by Paul’s own hand. (6:11)

II. The Recipients of the Book

A. The Cities of Galatia

1. Names of the Cities

· Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:14-50)

· Iconium (Acts 13:51 - 14:5)

· Lystra (Acts 14:6)

· Derbe (Acts 14:6)

2. Nature of the Citizens

· Impulsive & inconsistent (Acts 14:11-19)

· Warmhearted & generous (Gal. 4:15)

· Fickle & easily misled (Gal. 1:6; 3:1, 3)

· Quarrelsome & argumentative (Gal. 5:15)

B. The Churches in Galatia (1:6-7, 15).

1. Established by Paul during his 1st Missionary Journey (Acts 13 & 14).

2. Visited by Paul on his 2nd & 3rd Missionary Journeys (Acts 16:1-6: 18:23).

III. The Date & Place of Writing

A. Place: Written from Antioch, after his 1st Missionary Journey (Acts 14:26-28)

B. Date: Probably late in the year 49 A. D.

IV. The Purpose of the Book

A. To rebuke the Galatians for being easily swayed from the truth (1:1-9);

B. To refute the attack on his Apostolic authority (1:10 - 2:21);

C. To reestablish the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone (3:1 - 4:31);

D. To remind the Galatians of the freedom they have in Christ (5:1 - 6:18).

V. The Keys to the Book

A. The key thought = Christian Liberty abolishes legalism as a means of salvation.

B. The key phrase = "Liberty we have in Christ". (2:4).

C. The key verses = 2:20; 3:13, 26; 5:1

D. Key Words:

1. Liberty - 4 times

2. Free - 4 times ;

3. Faith - 22 times

4. Grace - 7 times

5. Law - 32 times

6. Works - 8 times

VI. The Outline to the Book

1. Paul’s Passion for the Gospel – 1:1-10

A. His calling – 1:1-2

B. His Christ – 1:3-5

C. His concern – 1:6-7

D. His curse – 1:8-9

E. His commitment – 1:10

2. Paul’s Protection of the Gospel – 1:11- 2:21

A. His calling from God – 1:11-17

B. His confirmation of the Apostles – 1:18- 2:10

C. His confrontation with Peter – 2:11-17

D. His crucifixion with Christ – 2:18-21

3. Paul’s Proclamation of the Gospel – 3:1- 4:

A. The personal argument – 3:1-5

B. The Scriptural argument – 3:6-25

C. The practical argument – 3:26- 4:7

D. The sentimental argument – 4:8-20

E. The allegorical argument – 4:21-31

4. Paul’s Prospects of the Gospel – 5:1- 6:10

A. Liberty – 5:1, 13

B. Legalism – 5:2:12

C. License – 5:13

D. Love – 5:13-15

E. Living – 5:16-26

F. Lifting – 6:1-10

5. Paul’s Postscript to the Gospel – 6:11-18


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