Having finished our study on James, today we turn back to Paul and look at the powerful book of Galatians. As such, we must first set the stage to our study by looking at Galatians as a whole. As with our study on Colossians and James, by understanding the background, author, date, and context of the writing, this will enhance our study and allow us to understand more about what the inspired writer was saying as well as its application to our lives. The importance of Galatians is unquestioned. Galatians, though one of Paul’s shorter epistles, is highly esteemed as one of his greatest and most influential letters. Since both Romans and Galatians teach the doctrine of justification by faith, Romans has been considered by some to be an expansion of Galatians and Galatians has been called “a short Romans.” “In the whole Bible, there is no more passionate, comprehensive, yet concise statement of the truth of the gospel than Galatians.” Salvation is through faith in Christ alone (2:16; 3:11-12). 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 (1:6). Believers can stand justified before God only through faith in Jesus Christ; nothing else will save us.
The central idea of Galatians:
Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Paul’s appeal to modern believers:
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