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Who Are The Galatians In The Bible

Pauls Conversation With Peter

Overview: Galatians

v15 We were born as *Jews. We are not like the*Gentiles who do not live by Gods standards. v16 We know whom Godaccepts. God accepts only the people who trust Christ. We can never please Godjust because we obey the *Jewish law. So we have trusted Jesus Christ. And Godaccepts us only because we have trusted Christ. He will not accept us justbecause we have obeyed the *Jewish law. God does not accept anyone who onlyobeys the law.

v17 Now, we want God to accept us because of Christ.But suppose that we fail to live by Gods standards. Christ certainly does notcause us to *sin. v18 If I destroy something, it is wrong for me torebuild it. v19 The law declared that I deserved to die. So my life,when I had to obey the law, ended. Instead, I now live to serve God. v20It is as if I died with Christ on his cross. I am not the person who is stillliving. Instead, Christ is living in me. My body is weak. But the way that Inow live is to trust Gods Son. He loved me. And he died for my benefit. v21Gods kindness was vital for me. A person cannot please God just because thatperson obeys the *Jewish law. Christs death was for an essential purpose.

Verses 15-16

Verse 17

Christians are free from the laws and traditions of religion.This means that we are free to serve God. But we are not free to do evilthings. Jesus Christ never makes people do anything wrong. Paul was certainabout that.

Verse 18

Verses 19-20

Verse 21

The People Who Received This Letter

Galatia was part of the country that we now call Turkey. Most ofthe people who lived in Galatia were *Gentiles. Paul had visited the region atleast twice. He had *preached the *good news about Jesus and many people becameChristians. The cities in Acts 14:21 are in Galatia. Paul visited the region againin Acts 18:23. Paul was weak when he first *preached there. But the people inGalatia were still excited to hear his message. And many people becameChristians .

What To Look For

In this epistle Paul taught several principles to those early Saints that are important for Latter-day Saints to learn:

  • Obedience to the law cannot save us because no one can live the law perfectly . Are there people in the Church today who make a similar mistake, thinking they can earn their way to heaven by keeping all of the commandments?

  • Righteousness comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. He helps us to conquer sin we cannot be righteous on our own .

  • As we become the sons and daughters of God, we also become heirs of God through Jesus Christ .

  • Living close to the Spirit can help us better resist the sins of the flesh .

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Week : Our Identity In Christ

To this point, Pauls primary emphasis has been on demonstrating that the gospel he preached to the Galatians is irreplaceable because it comes from God and not from the imagination of any human. In the background have been false teachers who appear to emphasize the continued importance for Gods people of observing the Jewish law. In Galatians 2:1121, Paul transitions to focus more on the content of the divine gospel and how it refutes these false teachings. The rest of this letter will be spent developing and defending the truths he articulates here.

The New Testament often uses the law to refer to the numerous commands of God set forth in the first five books of the Bible. These include the Ten Commandments and instructions regarding worship and the sacrificial system, as well as such things as diet and other aspects of daily life in ancient Israel.

Galatians 2:1121 shows that no religious observance of Gods commands should give anyone a sense of superior status, because a persons standing in Gods sight depends on Christ and faith in him, and not on anything that person has done.

Read through the complete passage for this study, Galatians 2:1121. Then review the following questions and write your own notes on them concerning these two cycles of judgment and grace for the nations.

Describe the chain of events that led to Paul confronting Peter .

Why did this bother Paul so much that he confronted Peter in public ?

2. The Gospel That Defines Us

The Holy Spirit And Our Selfish Desires

Daily Bible Verse

v13 My dear Christian brothers and sisters, Godinvited you to be free. You are free now. But do not use your freedom tosatisfy your own desires. Rather, serve each other because you love each other.v14 All the *Jewish laws together are really equal to only one law Youmust love other people as you love yourself. v15 Be careful that you donot continue to hurt each other. And do not continue to damage each other.Otherwise, you will spoil each others lives.

v16 But this is what I say. Live in the way that theHoly Spirit tells you to live. Do not do whatever your selfish desires want youto do. v17 Our selfish desires are opposite to the Holy Spirit. And theHoly Spirit is opposite to our selfish desires. These two fight each other. Andyou cannot do what you want to do. v18 But the Holy Spirit leads you.You are not under the authority of the *Jewish laws.

Verse 13

The Christians in Galatia were free. They did not have to obeyall the *Jewish laws. But that was not an excuse for bad behaviour. Christiansstill have their own desires. We are not perfect yet, so we still *sin. ButRomans 6:1-14 says that *sin no longer controls us. We can choose not to dowrong things. Our selfish desires tempt us, but we should refuse them. Weshould be unselfish. We should love other people. When Jesus lived in thisworld, he served other people . And Christians should be likeJesus.

Verse 14

Verse 15

Verse 16-17

Verse 18

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Epistle To The Galatians

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Books of the
Part of a series of articles on
Paul in the Bible

The Epistle to the Galatians is the ninth book of the New Testament. It is a letter from Paul the Apostle to a number of Early Christian communities in Galatia. Scholars have suggested that this is either the Roman province of Galatia in southern Anatolia, or a large region defined by an ethnic group of Celtic people in central Anatolia.

Paul is principally concerned with the controversy surrounding gentile Christians and the Mosaic Law during the Apostolic Age. Paul argues that the gentile Galatians do not need to adhere to the tenets of the Mosaic Law, particularly religious male circumcision, by contextualizing the role of the law in light of the revelation of Christ. The Epistle to the Galatians has exerted enormous influence on the history of Christianity, the development of Christian theology, and the study of the Apostle Paul.

The central dispute in the letter concerns the question of how Gentiles could convert to Christianity, which shows that this letter was written at a very early stage in church history, when the vast majority of Christians were Jewish or Jewish proselytes, which historians refer to as the Jewish Christians. Another indicator that the letter is early is that there is no hint in the letter of a developed organization within the Christian community at large. This puts it during the lifetime of Paul himself.

To Whom Was It Written And Why

âThere is some uncertainty as to what churches were addressed in this epistle. They were either in northern Galatia, the district of which Ancyra was capital, or in the district on the borders of Phrygia and Galatia that was visited by Paul on his first missionary journey. In either case the Galatian churches were certainly visited by Paul on his second and third journeysâ .

Paul wrote to the Saints in Galatia because he was deeply concerned that they were straying from the Lord by following the teachings of some who sought to âpervert the gospel of Christâ . Jewish Christians were teaching gentile Christians the false doctrine that they had to be circumcised and observe the ritual requirements of the law of Moses in order to be saved . Some Galatian Saints had embraced the teachings of these people .

Paulâs main purposes in writing this epistle included:

  • Defending himself against the accusations of the false teachers who opposed him.

  • Teaching that all people, whether Jew or Gentile, are saved by the Atonement of Jesus Christ by placing their faith in Jesus Christ instead of relying upon the works of the law of Moses.

  • Clarifying the role of the law of Moses in Godâs plan.

  • Distinguishing between the old covenant God made through Moses and the new covenant in Christ.

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    Why Study This Book

    The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians was written to Jewish Christians who were straying from the Lord by relying once again on the works of the law of Moses. The Apostle Paul sought to correct this problem by emphasizing the difference between the burdensome âyokeâ of the law of Moses, which led to spiritual bondage, and the gospel of Jesus Christ, which leads to spiritual freedom. Studying this epistle can help you better appreciate the liberty offered through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Peter Opposed By Paul

    Galatians Historical Background

    11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?

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    You Are Gods Sons You Are Not Slaves

    v1 I will continue what I was saying to you. A youngson will receive the property that his father has promised to give to him. Butbefore the son becomes a man, he is no different from a slave. v2 Peoplelook after the child while he is young. People are responsible for hisproperty. This happens until the particular time that his father has chosen. v3In a similar way, we were like young children. We were like slaves to the basicthings that people in the world believe. v4 But when the right timecame, God sent his own Son into the world. He had a human mother. He lived in asociety that had to obey the *Jewish law. v5 God sent his Son to freepeople. He freed the people who had to obey the law. Then we all could becomeGods children. v6 You are Gods children. So God sent the Holy Spiritinto your lives. The Holy Spirit tells us that God is our father. v7 Nowyou are not slaves. You are Gods children. So God will give you the goodthings that he has promised.

    Verses 1-2

    Verse 3

    The basic things that people in the world believe probablyrefers to the *Gentile religions. Paul had already described how the *Jewishlaw made the *Jews like prisoners . Most Christians in Galatia were*Gentiles. And they used to obey the rules in their religions. They did notunderstand what the truth was. So they were like young children. They could notreceive what God their Father had promised to them.

    Verse 4

    Verse 5

    Verse 6

    Verse 7

    Paul Defends His Gospel In Jerusalem

    1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.2 It was because of a revelation that I went up and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.3 But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.6 But from those who were of high reputation – well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised8 ,9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.10 They only asked us to remember the poor – the very thing I also was eager to do.

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    The Purpose Of Gods Laws

    v19 But the laws did have a purpose. God gave hislaws because people *sin. And those laws show people what *sin really is. Thelaws continued until Abrahams special *descendant came. *Angels gave the lawsto Moses. And Moses gave the laws to the people. v20 The laws did notcome directly from God. But God acts alone.

    v21 But this certainly does not mean that Gods lawsare opposite to his promises. The laws would be opposite if they could give us*spiritual life. In fact, God would have accepted us because we obeyed hislaws. v22 But the *Scriptures say that everyone in the world has astrong desire to *sin. And this desire controls people. But this happened sothat they would trust Jesus Christ. Then they would receive what God hadpromised.

    v23 But there was a time before people could trustJesus Christ. During that time, the law was like a prison guard. And we werelike prisoners. We were waiting until God showed us how to trust him. v24The law became like a guide who takes boys to school. So the law led us toChrist. Then we could trust Christ and have a right relationship with God. v25Now we are able to trust Christ. Therefore, the law is not still like ourguide. It does not still control us.

    Verse 19

    Verse 20

    Verse 21

    Verse 22

    Verse 23

    Verse 24

    Verse 25

    C The Divine Source Of The Gospel Paul Preached

    Bible Study Basics  Galatians

    1. Pauls gospel did not come from a desire to please man.

    For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

    a. For do I now persuade men, or God? Pauls idea was not I want to persuade God to my point of view. The idea is that God was his audience. When Paul spoke, he spoke first to God and not to man.

    b. Or do I seek to please men? Pauls first obligation was to please God and not to please men. He refused to shape his message just to please his audience. He was more concerned about pleasing God.

    i. Though it is not specifically said, we sense that Paul made a contrast between himself and those who brought the different gospel. Apparently in some way that different gospel was built around the idea of pleasing man.

    ii. There have always been preachers who have sought popular acclaim above all else, and there are some still. It is part of fallen human nature that even those charged with the responsibility of proclaiming the gospel can fall into the trap of trying to be popular rather than faithful.

    c. For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ: For Paul it was one or the other. He could not direct his ministry towards pleasing men and at the same time direct it towards pleasing Jesus Christ. And if his concern was not first to please Jesus Christ, then he was not a bondservant of Christ.

    2. The Divine source of Pauls gospel.

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    Justification By Faith In Jesus Christ

    15 “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.17 “But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!18 “For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.19 “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.

    20 “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

    21 “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

    Week 1: Defined By The Cross

    Pauls case against the opposing teachers is concluded. He has demonstrated decisively from the Galatians experience and from Scripture that entrance into Gods family and the freedom that this offers comes by faith in Christ, through the power of the Spirit, and not by the flesh fulfilling the works of the law. He has applied these truths to the specific decision the Galatians were facing over whether or not to be circumcised and to the dissension about this that the churches were facing. Now he finishes his letter personally. Look carefully at these teachers and look carefully at me, he seems to be saying, and recognize where the cross-shaped work of God is to be found.

    False teaching will always come off better in appearance because it avoids the scandal of the cross, but it will always lack the substance of the true gospel. Embracing the true gospel involves choosing the way of the cross it means joining in Christs sufferings and experience of rejection in this world as our hearts place their hope in the new creation that has begun in Christs resurrection.

    Read through the complete passage for this study, Galatians 6:1118. Then review the following questions and record your notes and reflections on this section of Galatians.

    Central to this passage is a comparison between Pauls and the teachers responses to persecution for the cross of Christ. Describe the difference between the two.

    1. Gospel Glimpses

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