This letter from Paul was addressed to the Church of Galatia people of Gauls which is North central Asia Minor. Paul had led the Galatians to Christ.3:1; They had made a good start to the Christian life and were doing well spiritually . When some Jewish teachers called Judaizers taught them to be saved one must not only believe in Christ but must also obey the Mosaic Law, the sign of which is circumcision. and attacked Paul ` s apostleship and Gospel. The false Gospel had a detrimental effect on Galatians. It was beginning to hinder their obedience to God. 5:7 ; they were starting to observe some parts of the Law and considering to follow the complete acceptance of the Law. Thus Paul seeks to express the error of the Judaizer Gospel and their impure motives. and turn back to legalism .So he teaches them with the central message of the letter, Justification by God `s Grace through his faith in Christ s atoning death, and defends his Gospel arguing that it is the true message of salvation since he received it directly from Christ. ” Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” 5:1
Chapter 1: 1-10 Introduction : Paul gives a brief and formal introduction saying he qualifies his apostleship which is not from men but Jesus Christ himself.saying it is not legalistic and not ritualistic. Jesus called him and set him apart for his office Acts 9:15-16. Paul states that there is only one Gospel which is of Grace and not the other Gospel of Faith and Laws.
Chapter 1& 2 : Personal A Testimony : Paul is proving the genuineness and the authenticity of the Gospel which he preached. also that what he preached came directly from his direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ. after this and his commission he had “conferred not with flesh and blood” v 16, nor had he gone up to Jerusalem to see those men who were apostles before him, but instead went into Arabia- v 17. After 3 years he went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and to stay with him 15 days v-18; and he didn’t see any of the other apostles except James v 18,19. So the purpose is to reiterate that His preaching was genuine and came from Christ. In chapter 2- Paul went to Jerusalem after 14 years along with Barnabas and Titus. they all had an understanding of the central message of the Salvation solely and wholly by Grace . so that later when Peter and others on a later occasion in Antioch lapsed into Judaistic behavior he silently rebukes Peter. v-20.
Chapter 3&4 : Doctrinal – Justification by Faith : Paul expresses of sheer surprise by the people s behavior that it was incredible to him that anyone could turn back fro the glorious liberty and the wonderful Gospel to the bondage of legalism. and calls the “O foolish Galatians,who did bewitch you” All through these two chapters Paul is showing the superiority of the Gospel over Judaism; 1. Of faith over works 3:2; 2. Of Spirit over flesh 3:3 ; 3.Of being justified over being held by law 3:8&11: 4. Of being Blessed over being cursed. 3:9&10: 5. Of the promise in Abraham over the command through 3:12-14 6. Of the Abrahamic Covenant over the Mosaic Covenant 3:16-22; In Chapter 3:6 Paul says , Abraham received his righteousness by faith in God long before the law was given. God also told Abraham in Gen 12:3 that Gentiles would also receive the righteousness by faith. God not only pardons sinners by faith He preserves because :the just shall live by faith 3:11 this passage is taken from Habakkuk 2:4 ; and is used here as well as in Romans 1:17 and Hebrews 10:18 ; In verse 10 we are told that if the old testament Law is broken at all, the entire law is broken,
Chapter 5&6 :Practical – Liberty in Christ : Paul wants the Galatians to “stand fast” that is to retain their spiritual freedom. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,and be not entangle again with the yoke of bondage 5:1; Paul then goes on to deal with the Jews that visited them insisted that Christian converts must be circumcised in the Jewish manner and observe the innumerable provisions of Jewish law. Paul says in v 2; if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing., and every man circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law. and Christ is become of no effect unto you,whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from Grace. In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcised,but faith which worketh by love. Christians must not rely like the Jews had vainly done, upon rules and regulations to save them. The son of God had sacrificed himself for all men and all thoughts must be concentrated on that. V-14;For all the law is fulfilled in one word,even in this,Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. so Paul says,walk in the spirit,and ye shall not fulfill the lust if the flesh. He draws to an end with a warning and command: “make no mistake ,about this, God is not to be fooled ; a man reaps what he sows…. so let us never get tired of doing good , for if we do not slacken our efforts we shall in due time reap our harvest.; 6:7,9.
works of the flesh v:19 which are these;adultery,fornication,uncleanness,lasciviousness. Idolatry,witchcraft,hatred,variance,emulations,wrath,strife,sedition,heresies.,envying s, murders,drunkenness,revelings, and such like:… and they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Fruits of the Spirit v:22; love-Divine concern for others,Joy– inward peace,peace-a confidence and quietness,long-suffering-patience and endurance,gentleness -kindness,goodness– Love in action,faith-things not seen,.meekness-subdued strength,temperance-self control, against such there is no law. The fruit is significant for three reasons,it means the result.product,outcome or effect produced by the spirit in the believer s life., unlike gift of the spirit which is given to each differently..each believer is to have all nine virtues composing the fruit of the spirit. If we live in the spirit let us also walk in the spirit.. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another envying one another. He declares that to conquer evil men needs faith in the guidance of God, and to distinguish between true and false guidance, we must look for the harvest of the spirit, the above virtues.
We have duties and liberties as believers in chapter 6. We have a liberty of a service and a love towards those in need and this is emphasized in the first few verses. and in the last few verses he says“hence from now on no one trouble me for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” which were the marks of people who bear branded as slaves- a mark of ownership,a soldier-a mark of allegiance,devotees- as a mark of consequences, criminal as a mark of exposure, as a abhorred as a mark of reproach. Paul had all these . He had been battered and bruised in such a way, that his body had permanent scars. He had been stoned in Lystra. dragged outside the city and left for dead, He had been whipped five times by the Jews and had three flogging by the Roman Soldiers. He had been ambushed by the enemies and assaulted by the mob, He mentions these just to reiterate that fact he is Branded of Jesus Christ and the contrast between the Judaisers. Also the mark of Jesus are those of a glad,free, voluntary service where as Marks of Moses is the circumcision. Also to tell the false teachers if they have any honesty and honor that they would stop their tricks of trying to destroy the faith that Paul has preached..
Unlike the Judaizer who bring about their accomplishments Paul takes pleasure only in Jesus atonement and all the spiritual blessing it brings. The world is the world system, Paul has renounced his old life and all the ways, along with his values and his religious accomplishments in which he used to boast.We should bear the marks of Lord Jesus Christ in ourselves and never be ashamed or afraid of bearing some reproach for Christ s Sake – in God s sight neither the external circumcision of the flesh nor its omission,availeth profit. only being divinely transformed into a new creation v 15; As many as walk according to this rule namely whoever -The Gentile Christians and The Jewish Christian – the Israel of God.
6:18- Brethren, The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit. Amen.