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The Agora
Bible Commentary
Galatians

1 2 3 4 5 6

Overview

Author: Paul

Time: AD 49

Summary: The letter to the believers in Galatia focuses on the divisions that Jewish Christians were causing among new Gentile converts. These "Judaizers" were trying to convince the Gentiles that they needed to be circumcised and to keep the ritual law in order to be saved. Paul argues that both Jew and Gentile alike enjoy in Christ complete salvation. Reliance on the Law was only a bondage to death and could not produce life-giving freedom, as only Christ could grant that freedom. Paul was showing that all legalistic variations of the Gospel are perversions of it and should be shown as such.

Key verse: "We, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified" (Gal 2:16).

Outline

1. Introduction: Gal 1:1–9

a) Greetings: Gal 1:1–5
b) Purpose of letter: Gal 1:6–9

2. Paul's defense of his apostleship: Gal 1:10 – 2:14

a) Paul called by God: Gal 1:10–24
b) Paul accepted by apostles: Gal 2:1–10
c) Paul opposes Peter at Antioch: Gal 2:11–14

3. Salvation by faith not law: Gal 2:15 – 4:31

a) Justified by faith in Christ: Gal 2:15–21
b) The Galatians' experience at conversion: Gal 3:1–5
c) Experience of Abraham: Gal 3:6–9
d) Curse of the law: Gal 3:10–14
e) Promises before the law: Gal 3:15–18
f) Purpose of the law: Gal 3:19–25
g) Sons not slaves: Gal 3:26 – 4:11
h) Personal appeal: Gal 4:12–20
i) Allegory of Hagar and Sarah: Gal 4:21–31

4. The life of liberty and faith: Gal 5:1 – 6:10

a) Exhortation to freedom: Gal 5:1–12
b) Liberty is not license: Gal 5:13–15
b) Life by the Spirit, not by the flesh: Gal 5:13–26
c) Doing good to all: Gal 6:1–10

5. Conclusion: Gal 6:11–18

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