WEEK 1 OVERVIEW- GALATIANS
February 26 - March 4, 2023
Galatians 1 Overview
The Apostle Paul starts this letter like he starts many of his others, by introducing himself. Although, Paul would not have been a stranger to the church of Galatia; he was the one who had brought them the good news of Jesus to begin with. Since Paul’s departure, false teachers had begun to lead this particular church astray, teaching them a false gospel. These false teachers were called “Judaizers.” Their mission was to take new followers of Christ and call them back to a Jewish religious system by mixing in Old Testament law. Paul was not in the business of planting churches and deserting them. When he got wind that the Judaizers were attempting to lead Christians away from grace and into the bondage of the law, Paul began to write this letter to reintroduce grace.
Grace is the unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor and kindness of God. God gave humanity grace by giving His Son, Jesus, who was a once-and-for-all sacrifice for the sins of humanity. This is favor to undeserving people. This is grace. Yet, the church of Galatia was departing from the grace of God and instead reverting back to a law that would keep them in bondage. This is why we can hear the anxiety in Paul in Galatians 1:7.
“You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.” Galatians 1:7
The word “fooled” in Greek meant “to change into opposite character” or “to reverse.” They were reversing the Gospel!
The Judaizers would do anything to discredit the Apostle Paul, from questioning his motivations to attempting to prove that his message and ministry were not from God. So Paul reaches into his past to remind the church of Galatia who he was and how God had transformed him. In Acts 22 and 26, we read that Paul spent his time persecuting Christ-followers while becoming a spiritual leader in Israel. Paul even thought Jesus was a false prophet and his message was a lie. Then in Acts 9 Paul (who was Saul), was on his way to persecute Christians, and a few days later he was preaching to his fellow Jews that the Christians were right and Jesus was the way. Clearly, this conversion (this transformation) was a miracle from God. It was grace. Three years later Paul begins his ministry. When the churches heard the report of who Paul used to be and witnessed his preaching, they praised God for it.
This is what the grace of God does. Even the chief of all sinners can have life, salvation, peace, and purpose when experiencing the undeserved favor of God. However, it does not just stop there. When people see what the grace of God has done for you, they will either praise, believe, or have their curiosity sparked.
Galatians Chapter 1 is a rebuke to the people of Galatia that have deserted the one true Gospel of Jesus. So allow these words to be a reminder to us that the work of the cross is enough. If there is any false gospel in our hearts, let us examine it and flush it out. It is Jesus and Jesus alone that gave himself for our sins - to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.