Lesson 1: Galatians Introduction

by | Jun 23, 2023 | Cornerstone Women's Bible Study, Galatians

For the best start to our new study, read through Galatians at least once this week. It is best to have an overview before jumping into the verse by verse details. Make note of things that jump out at you and questions that you might be pondering. Consider the notes below and answer the few questions asked.

In the whole Bible, there is no more passionate, comprehensive, yet concise statement of truth of the gospel than Galatians. Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone. No work can earn salvation. Paul’s succinct refutation of the Judaizers in this letter has transformed the lives of many – from Martin Luther to John Wesley. In general, people want to earn their salvation by works that can easily be identified. In this letter, Paul reveals the arrogance of such thinking. It amounts to a desertion of the truth of the gospel and a turning away from God. We can stand justified before God only through faith in Jesus Christ; nothing else will save us. – NKJV Study Bible

1. This concise statement of God’s plan for salvation is found in the following verses. What do they say?

a. Gal. 2:16

b. Gal. 3:11,12

Galatians has been called the “Declaration of Independence of Christian Liberty” and the “Christian’s Emancipation Proclamation”.

“Galatians is a passionate letter, the outpouring of the soul of a preacher on fire for his Lord and deeply committed to bringing his hearers to an understanding of what saving faith is.” – Morris

The great reformer Martin Luther especially loved this letter; he called Galatians his “Catherine von Bora” after his wife; because, he said, “I am married to it.”

“Martin Luther was much like Paul the apostle in that he was one of those fellows who went all out in his religious practices. He was one of the most monkish of all of the monks. He had gone to Rome and in order to appease God was climbing the steps on his knees, one step at a time, offering the prayers and all at each step. And as he was going up these steps the Spirit of God spoke to his heart out of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Martin, the just shall live by faith. And that burned in his heart. And thus was born the Protestant reformation.” – Guzik

2. “The just shall live by faith” is an Old Testament quote from Hab. 2:4. Paul quotes this verse in Gal. 3:11, Rom. 1:17 and Heb. 10:38. This verse is foundational to the Christian faith. Write this verse in your own words.

3. Read Gal. 1:1-2. What does Paul say about himself in verses?

4. What is an apostle and how does Paul qualify as such?

5. Consider the parenthetical phrase in verse 1. Why might Paul have included this in his letter?

6. According to verse 1, who raised Jesus from the dead?

a. God is the Father of Jesus. Describe this relationship.

b. God is also your Father. Describe this relationship.

This letter was written to the churches of Galatia. Galatia is not a city, but an area that includes churches that were planted on Paul’s 1st missionary journey in southern Galatia (Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra) as well as those planted on his 2nd missionary journey through northern Galatia. This letter was probably written between his first two missionary journeys dating around A.D. 48, making it one of the earliest New Testament books.

7. We read about the churches in southern Galatia in Acts 13 and 14. Summarize the events at these locations:

a. Antioch in Pisidia

b. Iconium

c. Lystra

8. As Paul traveled through the region of Galatia planting churches, men often came along after him perverting the gospel of grace. They preached another gospel which wasn’t the good news of the gospel of Christ. These men taught that in addition to receiving Jesus as Savior, they also needed to follow certain rules and regulations. Why was this a problem? Do we still see this today?