Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Galatians is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). It was written by the Apostle Paul about 49 A.D. prior to the Jerusalem Council which had taken place in 50 A.D. This quite possibly could have been Paul’s first letter. The key personalities of this book are the Apostle Paul, Peter, Barnabas, Abraham, Titus, and false teachers. Paul writes this book to deal with the problem of circumcision and Jewish legalism toward Gentile believers.
• In chapters 1-2, Paul’s gives his testimony about how he had received the authentic Gospel message. He warns that if anyone presents another Gospel message other than the one he was preaching, that person is “As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (1:9). Paul was speaking of the one true Gospel that he had received; Please read 1st Corinthians 15:1-4.
Paul then declares that Christ now lives within him, and directs, and empowers him to live as Christ’s ambassador and instrument: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (2:2o).
• Chapters 3-5:12, Paul begins by declaring that salvation is through faith and trust in Jesus Christ “Alone”, and cannot be obtained through the keeping of the Law. “Fou foolish Galatians! Who put you under a spell? Was not Jesus the Messiah clearly portrayed before your very eyes as having been crucified? I want to learn only one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started out with the Spirit, are you now ending up with the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3). The Law (10 Commandments) is our tutor to lead us to salvation in Jesus Christ, “the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (3:24). No one can obey the 10 Commandments. It is impossible. Every person has broken them; therefore, we can only attain salvation through trusting in our Savior Christ Jesus.
• Chapters 5:13-6, He teaches the Fruits of the Spirit and tells us to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (5:16). Good works does not save, but a Christian must have the desire to produce good fruit, obey God’s Law and live a holy and righteous life in the eyes of God. Christians should live this redeemed life.