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Galatians

New Testament Survey  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Becoming Familiar With the Galatian Letter

This letter is a heated argument with the (Gentile) Galatian believers against some Jewish Christian “missionaries” who insist that Gentiles should be circumcised if they are to be included in the people of God.
Paul is credited with writing this letter.
The churches of Galatia have been invaded by some agitators (5:2) who have questioned Paul’s gospel and his apostleship. Apparently, some Galatians are on the verge of surrendering to them, which sparks a vigorous defense by Paul of his gospel and his calling.
This letter is three-sided — Paul, to the Galatians, against the agitators.

Reasons for Paul’s Intensity

The gospel is at stake, especially as it includes the Gentiles, law-free, in the people of God—not to mention Paul’s own calling as apostle to the Gentiles. If the Galatians cave in to circumcision, everything God has done in Jesus Christ and is doing by the Spirit to include Gentiles in the people of God will have come to nothing (2:21). God’s story itself is on the line.

The gospel is at stake, especially as it includes the Gentiles, law-free, in the people of God.
If the Galatians cave in to circumcision, everything God has done in Jesus Christ and is doing by the Spirit to include Gentiles in the people of God will have come to nothing (2:21). God’s story itself is on the line.
His argument is that the cross of Christ and gift of the Spirit have brought observance of the Jewish law to an end. He reflects on past relationships (4:12-20), sometimes pointing out the consequences of their proposed actions (4:8-11; 5:2-6), and sometimes disparaging the agitators (5:7-12; 6:11-13).

A Walk Through Galatians

(4:
1:1-5 Salutation
1:6-9 A Curse on the Agitators
1:10-2:14 In Defense of the Gospel — Part 1: Paul and Jerusalem
2:15-21 The Theological Propositions Set Forth
3:1-4:7 In Defense of the Gospel — Part 2: Christ and the Law
4:8-20 - Application and Appeal
4:21-5:12 Once More: Argument, Application, Appeal
5:13-6:10 In Defense of the Gospel — Part 3: The Spirit and Righteousness
6:11-18 Conclusion: Circumcision No, the Cross Yes
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