Galatians # 1 Introduction Gal 1-1
We’re going to begin a new series, I wasn’t sure what I was going to teach on, Even just a few days ago, but I felt that the Lord was leading me to teach on the book of Galatians. We may do some other things (other teachings, other types of services) on Thursdays. But for now we’re going to take up the book of Galatians.
I. GAL 1:1-2
A. The book of Galatians is the only book that Paul wrote that was directed to more than 1 church.
1. Notice in (V 2) he says, “Unto the churches of Galatia.”
a. Galatia is not a city, but a Province, and there were 4 major cities in that province.
i. Antioch, Iconium, Derbe, and Lystra.
2. On Paul’s 1st missionary journey he started a church in each of those cities. (You can look that up later, it’s found in ACTS 13:14-14:23)
a. If you read those passages that I just gave you, you’ll see that Paul was harassed by LEGALISTIC JUDAIZERS.
b. These LEGALISTIC JUDAIZERS were attempting to get the Christians (Jewish and Gentile Christians) to KEEP the LAW.
i. They insisted that the Christians should comply with the strict codes of Judaism.
ii. And that is exactly what the churches in Galatia were doing.
iii. In essence, they were trying to straddle the fence between LEGALISM and GRACE.
c. In the book of Galatians, Paul makes it clear that such a walk of Legalism and Grace is impossible.
i. And really to say that you have to keep the LAW to keep your salvation is a denial of Christ’s finished work.
ii. These Judaizers, many of whom were born-again, were used by Satan to sow confusion and discord in these infant churches.
B. How does this epistle apply to the church of this age?
1. Well, in several ways, 1st it shows that Christianity is not a religion of Do’s and Don’ts, but a relationship with the Father, Son, and HS.
a. 2nd salvation and all of God’s promises come by faith and not through the OT LAW.
b. Even in today’s church there are many teaching that embrace the idea of salvation coming by faith and by keeping a set of rules and regulations.
i. Martin Luther who was really the founder of the Protestant Reformation based much of his ideas on the book of Galatians.
ii. He and the Reformers preached “Salvation by grace through faith alone. (1500)
2. In the Book of Galatians we’ll look at several different themes.
a. We’ll look at The Abrahamic Covenant, The blessings of Abraham, Redemption from the Cruse of the Law, The Fruit of the Spirit Verses The Works of the Flesh, we’ll also look at Paul’s thorn in the flesh, but the main theme that we’ll focus on is the Grace of God.
C. Let me say this before we get back to (GAL 1:1) WORKS FOR SALVATION AS OPPOSED TO COMMITMENT and SERVICE TO THE LORD are 2 different things.
1. Because we are saved we are committed to the Lord and His work, doing what he told us to do, but salvation never comes by works.
2. There is a fine line between Works for Salvation and Keeping the Commandments Jesus gave us.
a. Jesus said in (John 14:15 and 21) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” KJV (John 14:21) “21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. KJV
b. John said in (1 John 5:3) “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” KJV
D. There is a difference between the Works that we are to do now and the work that the LEGALISTIC JUDAIZERS tried to have people keep.
1. The LEGALISTIC JUDAIZERS’ works were works that the Jews had to keep under the OT (also known as the LAW) Jesus is a fulfillment of the OT LAW.
a. For the church to keep the OT LAW would just be a ritual, dead works, and a denial of the work that Jesus did.
2. There are some churches that still do rituals (Things that are not from the Word of God) Again it is dead works, and it denies what Jesus has done for us.
II. Let’s go back to GAL 1:1-2
A. Paul makes a strong claim to the office that he stands in.
1. He says that “He is an Apostle, not of men, neither by man.”
a. No group of men appointed Paul to be an Apostle and no 1 man appointed him, But it was but Jesus Christ, and God the Father.
b. No person can call you into the 5 fold ministry, the laying on of hands is not going to call you into the 5 fold ministry, a word from someone is not going to set you into the ministry.
i. It has to come from the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Paul makes such a strong claim to his Apostleship for the reason that these LEGALISTIC JUDAIZERS, were apparently saying that Paul was not a true APOSTLE.
a. One way to deny the truthfulness of a message is to deny the authority of the one who gives it.
i. The Galatian churches had received the true gospel of grace from Paul and had believed it until some false teachers came in after he was gone.
ii. These false teachers not only attacked Paul’s message, but also attacked him personally.
iii. They apparently came in and said that Paul was a self-appointed apostle with no divine commission.
iv. Immediately Paul began to establish that he was an apostle called by God.
3. An apostle is one who is sent with a commission.
a. An apostle has spiritual gifts and an anointing that will accompany him to help him fulfill his commission.
i. The anointing and spiritual gifts are as the spirit wills, but will usually accompany an apostle when ministering.
ii. Many times apostles are used in starting churches, but they do not stay for the long term, Paul’s longest was 3 years. (At Ephesus)