During this session, we considered Paul letter to the churches in Galatia.
Considering Paul’s Letter to the Galatians
- Galatia was a Roman province named after a tribe that settled in the northern part around the third century. In the letter, Paul never mentions any cities.
- Paul established the Galatian churches during his missionary travels in Asia. The Galatians were gentiles.
- Jewish Christian missionaries had arrived, preaching that Gentile converts needed to adopt Jewish practice and values.
- By emphasizing circumcision and Law, the missionaries were making our relationship with God conditional, negating God’s grace. Galatians 2:20-21
- The missionaries underestimated the power of the Spirit to guide the Christian community. Galatians 5:16-26
- The missionaries undermined the unity of Jews and Gentiles and Christ. Galatians 2:11-14
- The missionaries sounded as though the death of Christ didn’t change the world. Galatians 6:14-15
- People are put in a right relationship with God through faith, not obedience. Galatians 2:18-21
- The cross is a liberating event. Galatians 3:13-14
- As a result of the cross, the Spirit is given to all who are in Christ. Galatians 5:25
- In the new community created by the Spirit, the old markers that separated Jews from Gentiles have been destroyed. Galatians 3:28
- Those who recognize the saving work of God in Christ and live in the power of the Spirit experience freedom. Galatians 5:1
- Theology (“what”) – 1:6–4:31
- Ethic (“so what”) – 5:1–6:18