Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Testament survey (09): Galatians

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:4-7)


[1] Galatians, Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3), Faith + 0 = Salvation (PDF)

Galatians is the strongest declaration and defense of the doctrine of justification by faith in or out of Scripture. It is God’s polemic on behalf of the most vital truth of the Christian faith against any attack. Not only is a sinner saved by grace through faith plus nothing, but the saved sinner lives by grace. Grace is a way to life and a way of life. (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of Galatians, from (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
The result of justification by grace through faith is spiritual freedom. Paul appealed to the Galatians to stand fast in their freedom, and not get “entangled again with a yoke of bondage (that is, the Mosaic law)” (Galatians 5:1). Christian freedom is not an excuse to gratify one's lower nature; rather, it is an opportunity to love one another (Galatians 5:13; 6:7-10). Such freedom does not insulate one from life’s struggles. Indeed, it may intensify the battle between the Spirit and the flesh. Nevertheless, the flesh (the lower nature) has been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20); and, as a consequence, the Spirit will bear its fruit such as love, joy, and peace in the life of the believer (Galatians 5:22-23). (Read the complete article)
[3] Galatians, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
WRITER: The Apostle Paul ( 1:1)

DATE: Galatians was probably written A.D. 60, during Paul's third visit to Corinth, The occasion of the Epistle is evident. It had come to Paul's knowledge that the fickle Galatians, who were not Greeks, but Gauls, "a stream from the torrent of barbarians which poured into Greece in the third century before Christ," had become the prey of the legalizers, the Judaizing missionaries from Palestine.

THEME: The theme of Galatians is the vindication of the Gospel of the grace of God from any admixture of law-conditions, which qualify or destroy its character of pure grace.

The Galatian error had two forms, both of which are refuted. The first is the teaching that obedience to the law is mingled with faith as the ground of the sinner's justification; the second, that the justified believer is made perfect by keeping the law. Paul meets the first form of the error by a demonstration that justification is through the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 15:18), and that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after the confirmation of that covenant, and the true purpose of which was condemnation, not justification, cannot disannul a salvation which rests upon the earlier covenant. Paul meets the second and more subtle form by vindicating the office of the Holy Spirit as Sanctifier.

The book is in seven parts:

1. Salutation, Galatians 1:1-5
2. Theme, Galatians 1:6-9.
3. Paul’s Gospel is a revelation, Galatians 1:10-2:14.
4. Justification is by faith without law, Galatians 2:15-3:24.
5. The rule of the believer's life is gracious, not legal, Galatians 3:25-5:15.
6. Sanctification is through the Spirit, not the law, Galatians 5:16-24.
7. Exhortations and conclusion, Galatians 5:25-6:18.

[1] Key verses: Galatians 2:16, 20; 3:11; 4:4-6; 5:22-23; 6:7

[2] “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage (Galatians 2:4). “Judaizers” taught that Christians had to obey the Old Testament laws.

[3] Paul defends his apostolic authority (Galatians 1:11-19; 2:1-14)

[4] Justification is by faith alone: the statement of the doctrine (Galatians 2:15-21); the experience of the Galatians (Galatians 3:1-5); the illustration of Abraham (Galatians 3:6 – 4:18); and the allegory of Hagar and Sarai (Galatians 4:19-31). Please review our lesson on justification by grace through faith.

[5] Falling from grace: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4)

“Fallen from grace” does not mean to fall out of salvation or lose it. It means to try to be saved by some other means. You fall from the high plane of grace down to the low level of legality. To be saved by grace and then to try to live the Christian life by law is to fall from grace. (Read the complete article by Dr. J. Vernon McGee)

Please review our lesson on eternal security of the believer / perseverance of the saints.

[6] Adoption, from Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology:
Act of leaving one's natural family and entering into the privileges and responsibilities of another. In the Bible, adoption is one of several family-related terms used to describe the process of salvation and its subsequent benefits. God is a father who graciously adopts believers in Christ into his spiritual family and grants them all the privileges of heirship. Salvation is much more than forgiveness of sins and deliverance from condemnation; it is also a position of great blessing. Believers are children of God.
Please review our lesson on Adoption: Abba, Father!

[7] “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Galatians 5:14)

[8] Works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21)
  • adultery
  • fornication (illicit sexual intercourse)
  • uncleanness
  • lasciviousness (unbridled sensuality, excess)
  • idolatry
  • witchcraft
  • hatred
  • variance (contention, strife)
  • emulations (jealousy)
  • wrath
  • strife
  • seditions (uproar, insurrection, dissension)
  • heresies
  • envyings (the feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others)
  • murders (unlawful taking of life)
  • drunkenness (habitual intoxication)
  • revellings (feasts resulting in carousing; consequence of drunkenness)
[9] Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • longsuffering
  • gentleness
  • goodness
  • faith
  • meekness
  • temperance
Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Born Free … Live Free … Stay Free, A Devotional Commentary on the Book of Galatians, by Paul Apple

[2] Galatians: Introduction, Argument, and Outline, by Daniel B. Wallace, Th.M., Ph.D.

[3] Series: Galatians: The Gospel and God’s Grace, by Bob Deffinbaugh

[4] The Epistle to the Galatians, by Greg Herrick Th.M., Ph.D.

[5] Galatians in Chinese and English, from

Sermons on Galatians 2:16, 4:4-6 (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Sermon illustrations on Galatians, from

[2] Christmas - the Perfect Gift, by Randy MacVicar (“Searching for the 'Perfect Gift” by Missionary Jim Walterhouse, Lighthouse Baptist Church for the deaf, Tampico, Mexico)

[3] Sinners Justified in Christ Alone, by Kevin Grant

[4] The Glorious Gospel of Grace, by Kevin Grant

[5] Justification, by Robert F. Green

[6] Justification By Faith, by Malcolm Macleod

[7] The Fingerprints Of The Messiah, by Mike Mestler

[8] At the Right Time, by Danny D. Baskin

[9] Why Go Back? By Chad William Cone

[10] Fullness of Time, by Paul Elledge

[11] Immanuel God Is With Us, by Joel Mark Lillie

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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