"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Chapter One OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To understand the divine origin of Paul's apostleship 2) To appreciate the danger of twisting the gospel of Christ SUMMARY Paul begins his letter to the churches of Galatia immediately addressing a key issue of the epistle: that he is an apostle "not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ..." (1). Joined by unnamed brethren, he sends grace and peace from God and Christ, making reference to the deliverance made possible by Jesus' death for our sins in keeping with God's will (2-4). This in turns leads to a short doxology (5). Without any thanksgiving or prayer for his recipients as found in other epistles, Paul expresses his amazement that they are so soon turning to a different gospel being offered by those who wish to pervert the gospel of Christ (6-7). This is followed by a condemnation, repeated for emphasis, of anyone, even an apostle or angel, who would preach a different gospel than they had already received (8-9). Strong words, yes, but as a servant of Christ Paul is seeking to please God, not man (10). The gospel preached by Paul was being twisted by those who challenged his authority as an apostle. Therefore Paul proceeds to defend both the gospel and his apostleship by stressing that his gospel was by revelation and not from man (11-12). As evidence, Paul relates his conduct prior to his conversion, and how by the grace of God he was called to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (13-14). That his gospel was not from man is supported by the scarcity of opportunities he had to be around Peter or the other apostles (15-20). In the early years after his conversion, most of his time was spent in Syria and Cilicia, with the churches of Judea knowing Paul only by what they heard. And what they heard led them to glorify God (21-24)! OUTLINE I. INTRODUCTION (1-10) A. SALUTATION (1-5) 1. From Paul, an apostle, and those with him, to the churches of Galatia (1-2) 2. With a desire for them to have grace and peace from God and Jesus (3) 3. With mention of Christ's sacrifice for our sins, designed to deliver us from this evil age, in keeping with God's will, to Whom be glory forever (4-5) B. REASON FOR THE LETTER (6-10) 1. He is amazed that they are turning from the One who called them in the grace of Christ, to a different and perverted gospel (6-7) 2. A repeated condemnation against anyone (man, apostle, or angel) who would preach a different gospel than what they had already received (8-9) 3. Strong words, yes, but coming from one who seeks to serve Christ, not man (10) II. PAUL'S DEFENSE OF HIS APOSTLESHIP (11-24) A. THE DIVINE ORIGIN OF HIS GOSPEL (11-17) 1. His gospel was not according to man, or from man, but directly from Jesus Christ (11-12) 2. A review of his conduct in Judaism prior to conversion (13-14) 3. Upon his conversion, an act of Divine revelation itself, he did not confer with man, especially the apostles in Jerusalem (15-17a) 4. But went to Arabia, and then returned to Damascus (17b) B. HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER APOSTLES (18-24) 1. After three years he went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and only then for fifteen days (18) a. He saw none of the other apostles, except James, the Lord's brother (19) b. With a solemn declaration he affirms these things to be true (20) 2. Then he went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia (21) a. Remaining unknown by face to the churches of Judea (22) b. They heard only of his preaching brought about by his conversion, and they glorified God in him (23-24)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) In identifying himself as an apostle, what point does Paul stress? (1) 3) To whom is this epistle written? (2) 4) Why did Jesus give Himself for our sins? (4) 5) Why did Paul marvel? (6) 6) What were those who were troubling them actually doing? (7) 7) What does Paul say of those who would preach a different gospel? (8-9) 8) Who was Paul seeking to please? Why? (10) 9) What does Paul stress about the gospel he preached? (11-12) 10) What did Paul remind them of concerning his former conduct in Judaism? (13-14) 11) Why did God call Paul and reveal His Son in him? (15-16) 12) Where did Paul NOT go after his conversion? (17) 13) How long was it before Paul saw any of the apostles in Jerusalem? Which ones did he see? (18-19) 14) Where did he go then? (21) 15) What three things are said about Paul's connection with the churches of Judea? (22-24)