In Galatians, Paul tackles issues such as freedom, the role of the law in salvation, our condition in Christ, and the nature of the Spirit-led life, as well as the age-old question, How can sinful humans be made right before a holy and just God?
Many scholars believe that Galatians may be the earliest of Paul’s letters. It was written in A.D. 49, shortly after the famous Jerusalem Council (Acts 15). Therefore, the book may be the oldest Christian document known. As Acts and Galatians make clear, the early church found itself in a fierce battle over the nature of salvation, especially in the case of Gentiles. According to a group of Jewish believers, known as Judaizers, belief in Jesus alone was not good enough for Gentiles. Gentiles must also be circumcised and follow the laws of Moses (Acts 15:1).
This quarter’s Bible study guide invites us to journey with the apostle Paul as he pleads with the Galatians to remain true to Jesus. It also gives us a chance to reflect on our own understanding of the truths that opened the way for Martin Luther’s ultimate break with Rome and the restoration of the biblical gospel.
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