Survey of the Bible - Galatians

Text: Galatians 5:1-4


I.         This book places emphasis on liberty – liberty both from the Old Law and from the world of sin

            A.        Galatia as a cultural area refers to the central part of Asia Minor. When Rome conquered the region, it set up a province called Galatia that was larger than the original territory.

                        1.         The southern region included Antioch of Pisidia, Lystra, Iconium, and Derbe; places Paul visited on his first journey - Acts 14:5-6

                        2.         He also returned in Acts 16:6 and Acts 18:23

            B.        Dating

                        1.         The dates attributed to this letter are broad, from being one of the first letters Paul wrote to one of his last letters.

                        2.         Latter date

                                    a.         There are similarities between Romans and Galatians which leads some to believe they were written in the same time frame.

                                    b.         Galatians 4:13 seems to imply that Paul has been in Galatia more than once.

                                                (1)       But Acts 13-14 talks of Paul visiting twice: once on the way in and again on the way out.

                                    c.         A later date would put Peter and James in direct contradiction to what they concluded in Jerusalem in Acts 15.

                                    d.         The later date would put the book at about AD 57

                        3.         Earlier date

                                    a.         Galatians 1:17 matches Acts 9:20-25 and II Corinthians 11:32-33 (AD 34-37)

                                    b.         Galatians 1:18 matches Acts 9:26-29 (AD 38)

                                    c.         Goes to Tarsus. Galatians 1:21 matches Acts 9:30

                                    d.         Barnabas fetches Paul from Tarsus - Acts 11:25 (AD 46)

                                    e.         Galatians 2:1-10 corresponds to Acts 11:27-30 with the famine relief (AD 47)

                                                (1)       Galatians 2:5 implies the churches in Galatia were established before this time.

                                    f.         The events in Galatians 2:11-21 probably took place before the meeting in Jerusalem in Acts 15.

                                    g.         Barnabas is mentioned three times, which again points to the congregations Paul and Barnabas had established - Galatians 2:1, 9, 13

                                    h.         Travel to Asia Minor, including Galatia - Acts 13-14 (AD 47-48)

                                    i.         Received as an angel of God in Galatians 4:14 could be a reference the events in Lystra - Acts 14:11-12

                                    j.         The problem with Judaizing teachers was building up, that lead to the meeting in Jerusalem.

                                                (1)       Problems with false teachers - Galatians 1:6-10

                                                (2)       Being courted but also being excluded - Galatians 4:17

                                                (3)       People desiring to be under the law - Galatians 4:21

                                                (4)       People returning to the bondage of law - Galatians 5:1-4

                                                (5)       Compelling people to be circumcised so that they won’t be persecuted - Galatians 6:12-13

                                    k.         The more likely date is around AD 49, after the first journey but before the meeting in Jerusalem. This would be Paul's first letter.

II.        Purpose

            A.        The problem of Judaizing teachers was growing rapidly. Everywhere Jews were approaching congregations in the Gentile regions telling people that salvation required keeping the Old Law as well as the New Law

            B.        A problem that continues to resurface.

            C.        Today we have people arguing that the Ten Commandments are still in effect

            D.        People who argue that Sabbath laws, and the dietary laws are still to be keep

            E.        And Messianic Jews who claim that the New Testament is just an extension of the Old Testament and that Paul wasn’t an apostle.

            F.        The arguments of Paul are still important for us today.

            G.        The tactic appears to be:

                        1.         Discredit Paul because he so effectively argues against the Old Law continuing

                        2.         Challenge the concept of what the Gospel really was

                        3.         Argue that removing the Old Law would lead to ungodliness.

III.       Outline

            A.        Greetings - Galatians 1:1-5

            B.        A defense of Paul and his teachings - Galatians 1-2

                        1.         The gospel doesn’t change - Galatians 1:6-10

                        2.         How Paul came by the Gospel - Galatians 1:11-24

                        3.         Those in Jerusalem agree that Paul had the Gospel - Galatians 2:1-10

                        4.         Paul’s authority demonstrated - Galatians 2:11-21

            C.        A defense of the Gospel Galatians 3-4

                        1.         Where does the miraculous gifts come? - Galatians 3:1-5

                        2.         Where does salvation come? - Galatians 3:6-29

                                    a.         Abraham was saved by faith and not the old Law - Galatians 3:6-9

                                    b.         The Law placed all under a curse - Galatians 3:10-14

                                    c.         Salvation came by promise - Galatians 3:15-18

                                    d.         The purpose of the Law - Galatians 3:19-25

                                    e.         We are saved through Christ by faith in the new Law, thus receiving the promise - Galatians 3:25-29

                        3.         What it means to become a child of God - Galatians 4:1-11

                        4.         Their relationship with Paul - Galatians 4:12-20

                        5.         Allegorical illustration of the change in covenants - Galatians 4:21-31

            D.        Application - Galatians 5-6

                        1.         Stand firm. You cannot mix the Old with the New - Galatians 5:1-6

                        2.         Obey the truth. Do be distracted by false teachers to worldiness - Galatians 5:7-12

                        3.         The call to freedom from the world: love each other - Galatians 5:13-15

                        4.         The difference between worldly living and spiritual living - Galatians 5:16-25

                        5.         Help each other out of the world and into the Spirit - Galatians 6:1-10

                        6.         The motivation of the false teachers versus Paul’s motives - Galatians 6:11-18

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