I started studying Galatians a couple weeks ago because I wanted to understand the fruit of the Spirit within its context. I was amazed to realize how much practicality for life is found in this letter!
Through studying Galatians, I believe that there are two major lessons we should be aware of, both of which are extremely practical and important in our lives today:
The needs for confrontation and community are vitally important to our spiritual wellbeing.
We have been called to live by the grace found in Christ, not the law.
Over the next couple weeks, my blog posts will be focused on these two lessons, but we need to get some ground work out of the way.
What We Need to Know . . .
One of the most important things in studying literature of any kind is knowing the context of when the text was written. Even though the Bible is the Word of God, it’s still a book. All holiness set aside, the Bible is arguably one of the world’s greatest works of literature. According to Guinness Book of World Records, about 2.5 billion copies were printed 1818-1975, but more recent estimates say more than 5 billion copies have been made.
There are a couple things about the context of Galatians that we should know before diving in:
Paul wrote it . . .
Galatians was written by Paul, a high-ranking Jewish man who had relentlessly persecuted Christians until he was miraculously visited by Christ (you can read his conversion testimony in Acts 9:1-30)
. . . because of lies about the gospel.
A church that had most likely come about due to Paul’s ministry in Galatia has fallen into false doctrine. False teachers entered the church where they began preaching that circumcision is a requirement for salvation.
Galatia was a Celtic region which eventually became a Roman Province. Galatia was heavily influenced by Hellenistic, Celtic, and Roman cultures, so a safe assumption is that the church had a heavy Gentile population. By claiming that circumcision was needed for salvation, false teachers were implying that Gentiles must adhere to Jewish law in order to become followers of Jesus Christ. This false gospel didn’t sit well with Paul, so he wrote his letter to bring the truth of the gospel back to the forefront: Salvation is only available through the grace found in Jesus Christ.
I’m pretty pumped to share what I’ve discovered in Paul’s letter to the Galatians! I can’t wait for you to join me in this!