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BIBLE STUDY on the book of Galatians

Galatians chapter 1

Greeting and Declaring His Apostle-ship Gal. 1:1-8

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) (KJV)

This letter is from Paul, an apostle and here he states that he was not appointed by any group or by human authority. He says that he was called by Jesus Christ Himself and from God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.

It is my humble opinion that Paul took the place of Judas. After the resurrection of Jesus, Matthias was chosen by the disciples to fill the place of Judas, but no information is given about Matthias except the account given in Acts 1:15–26. Matthias is not mentioned again. If the Holy Spirit had chosen him, He would have set His seal upon this man. Paul, proved he was an apostle, Matthias did not. The election of Matthias as an apostle was held before Pentecost, which was before the Holy Spirit came into the church. For that reason I do not think that the Holy Spirit had anything to do with the selection of Matthias. There are also many elections in our churches today that are obviously NOT ordered by the Holy Spirit. I believe that Paul is the man whom the Spirit of God chose to take Judas’ place.

An “apostle” is one of the following: #1. One of the Twelve (Acts 1:21–26). #2 With Jesus during His three-year ministry (v. 21); #3 Witness of His post resurrection ministry (v. 22); #4 Chosen by Christ (v. 22; Acts 9:15; 26:16–17). There are NO “apostles” in today’s present world!

Paul was an apostle. How? He was an apostle appointed by none other than the Master Himself! Christ Jesus laid His hand upon Paul, called him, and set him apart for the office (Acts 9:15–16). Men had NOTHING at all to do with it. Paul was an apostle chosen directly by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead.

Galatians 1:2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: (KJV)

All the brothers and sisters there, joined Paul in sending greetings to the churches of Galatia. No one is personally mentioned. Paul is not writing just to one church. He is writing to several churches . . . “churches of Galatia.” The Judaizers questioned Paul’s authority as an apostle and his teaching that simple faith was enough for salvation. We have much of that in today’s cults! Paul defends his apostle-ship and demonstrates the sufficiency of the Gospel of grace to save. . . . See our articles on cults: . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_cults.1.htm

Galatians 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, (KJV)

This is Paul’s formal greeting that he uses in most of his epistles. The word grace (charis) in this verse was the Gentile form of greeting in that day, while peace (shalom) was the religious greeting of the Jews. Consider this: the grace of God must be experienced before the peace that is from God the Father can be expected.

Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: (KJV)

What a marvelous verse! Jesus Christ “gave himself for our sins.” There is NOTHING that we can add to the value of His Sacrifice. NOTHING! He gave Himself. Paul calls Him, “our Lord Jesus Christ.” He is my Saviour. Can you say? “The Lord is my Saviour?” Paul goes on to say, “that he might deliver us from this present evil world.” Notice that the Lord delivers us from this present evil age. The Gospel CAN deliver you. I have many received letters from people who have turned to Christ and have been delivered. They have been delivered from drugs, from alcohol, and from sex sins. Only Christ alone can deliver in cases like that. His deliverance is “according to the will of God and our Father.” He can deliver us . . . but it will NOT be according to law. It must be according to the will of God! What is the will of God? It is that, after He has saved us, we will NOT live in sin. He can deliver us. He wants to deliver us. He will deliver us, and He will do it according to His will. It is God’s will that you be delivered.

Galatians 1:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)

ALL glory belongs to God through out all the ages of eternity! Amen. Paul renders praise to God. NONE of us praise God as we should. Did you praise the Lord’s Name this morning when you got up? Did you thank Him for a new day? We ALL need to praise Him more. This concludes Paul’s salutation. It contains some glorious Truths, but it is an impersonal greeting from Paul.

SUBJECT STATED . . . WARM DECLAMATION

Paul now states his subject. He goes from cold to hot. In fact, he is hot under the collar. WHY? Because there are those who are mutilating the Gospel. It deeply saddens my heart and soul to see so many of today’s well known and well liked preachers mutilating the Gospel today! They are NOT preaching the Gospel of Christ, they are preaching “another gospel” and “another Jesus.” (2 Cor.11:4). It makes me sick! . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_false_doctrines.1.htm

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (KJV)

Paul says that he is shocked that they are turning away so soon from God, who in His love and mercy called them to share the eternal life He gives through Christ. They are turned to a false and dangerous path. ANY doctrine that does not preach Christ and the cross is a FALSE doctrine . . . it is “another gospel” and it will lead you to Hell!

The FACTS of the Gospel are the incarnation, suffering, death, burial, bodily resurrection of Christ and his ascension to Heaven (Acts 1:9) to God's right hand (Mk.16:19; Lu.22:69; Ac.2:33; 5:30-31). Paul said to the Corinthians, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3–4). These are the historical FACTS of the Gospel which cannot be changed.

The subject of Paul’s letter to the Galatian believers concerns the interpretation of the facts of the Gospel. The Judaizers had followed Paul into the Galatia. They did not challenge the facts of the Gospel. 500 people at once saw the Lord Jesus after His resurrection (1 Cor.15:6). They did not deny the facts of the Gospel. The heresy they were promoting concerned the interpretation of those facts. They were very sly and subtle, like so many false teachers today! What they were teaching was: You are to trust Christ, but you must also follow the Mosaic Law or you won’t be saved. This is one of the oldest heresies known, and it is still with us today. It is ADDING something to the Gospel of grace; it is doing something rather than simply believing something. It is faith plus something rather than faith plus nothing. EVERY cult has something for you to do in order to be saved.

Paul said to the Philippian jailer, “… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved …” (Acts 16:31). Simon Peter said to the Sanhedrin, “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). They were NOT to do anything to gain their salvation . . . they were simply to trust what Christ already had done for them. The Gospel shuts out all works.

Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (KJV)

There is NO “another” gospel (2 Cor.11:4)! There are only false doctrines that pretend to be the Good News and mislead people. They were being fooled by those who twist, corrupt and change the Truth about Christ. Attempts to change the Gospel has the effect of making it the very opposite of what it really is. Do NOT be deceived by smiley faced, money hungry, smooth talking preachers under Satan’s control!

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (KJV)

This verse should be a warning to all the preachers of today who are bringing another gospel, which are damnable heresies (2 Pet.2:1). Many well known and well liked speakers are trying to bring "another gospel.” BEWARE! They may seem like angels to you, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light, and his ministers are transformed as the ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14–15). If they are not preaching Christ and the cross and His resurrection, do NOT listen to them!

NO “Another Gospels” Gal.1:9-18

Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (KJV)

Paul repeats what he said in verse 8 about the curse. There are SO many who should KNOW what the Bible states, yet they preach “another gospel” (damnable heresies, 2 Pet.2;1). It is SO plain here, anyone who does this shall be “accursed” (damned, condemned to Hell).

What about all the people who go along with these preachers? Are they too “accursed”? Yes! They are. Many think they have to become good enough to be saved. The ONLY class that God saves is the ungodly (Rom.5:8; 1 Tim.1:15). The Lord Jesus said He did NOT come to call the righteous; He came to call sinners. There is none righteous, no, not one (Rom.3:10,23). The so-called righteousnesses of man is as filthy rags (Isa. 64:6) in God’s sight. We can become “righteous” only when the Father imparts the righteousness of Christ to us (1 Cor.1:30) . . . and that happens when we believe God (1 John 5:10-12) and accept His Way of Salvation which is Christ! The Law condemns us, Jesus saves us.

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (KJV)

Paul says: “Being Christ’s servant, am I to persuade (convince) men? or God?” The preaching of the Gospel is NOT pleasing to lost man. They do NOT want to hear that they are sinners and are bound for Hell unless they repent and accept Christ’s work on the cross.

NO person can please both God and man. It is the Gospel of the grace of God that the sinner hates. The unsaved church members do NOT want to hear the message of grace. They want to hear something that appeals to the flesh; a short, smooth, non-threatening and comfortable sermon to the people. IF preachers want people to attend, they must preach only what the people want to hear . . . just like in the Old Testament! Isaiah 30:9-11 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: 10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: 11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. (KJV) . . . NO sermons on their sin, NO sermons on the wrath of God, NO sermons of God’s judgment, NO sermons of Hell.

Compromise is the norm in today’s seeker friendly churches! Whatever works, whatever is least offensive, whatever is positive and uplifting . . . that is what you get in the vast majority of churches today. People do NOT want the Gospel of grace! That Gospel puts them down in the dust and makes them beggars before God. They do NOT want to hear it!

Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (KJV)

Paul states here that the Good News of salvation which he preaches is NOT based on human reasoning or logic. Why should the Galatians have listened to Paul instead of the Judaizers? Paul answered this question by furnishing his credentials:

  • #1 his message was received directly from Christ (Gal.1:12);
  • #2 he had been a flawless Jew (Gal.1:13-14);
  • #3 he had had a special conversion experience (Gal.1:15-16; also Acts 9:1-9);
  • #4 he had been confirmed and accepted in his ministry by the other apostles (Gal.1:18-19; 2:1-9).

Paul also presented his credentials to the Corinthian and Philippian churches (2 Cor. 11-12; Phil. 3:4-9).

Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (KJV)

Paul tells it like it was; his message came from a direct revelation from Jesus Christ Himself. No earthly person taught him. This revelation probably took place during the three years, in part of which he sojourned in Arabia (Gal.1:17-18). Paul’s point is that his words are more than his own thoughts or ideas.

Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: (KJV)

Paul says: You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion. I violently persecuted the Christians. He unerringly kept the law and relentlessly persecuted Christians (Acts 9:1-2). Before his conversion Paul had been even more zealous of the Law than the Judaizers, for he had surpassed his contemporaries in religious knowledge and practice.

Paul had been very sincere in his zeal . . . but wrong. When he met Jesus Christ, his life changed. He then directed all his energies toward building up the Christian church that he had tried so hard to destroy. IF when you meet Jesus, your life does NOT change . . . it is most likely that you have NOT been saved at all.

Galatians 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. (KJV)

Paul was one of the most religious Jews of time, and tried as hard as possible to follow all the old customs of his religion. Paul had been "a Pharisee, and son of a Pharisee" (Acts 23:6; 26:5). There are millions today that live “good” lives . . . better than a lot of professing “Christians.” That does NOT mean they are saved! That does NOT mean that they will go to Heaven. Only believing God (1 John 5:11-12) and accepting Jesus as your Saviour and Lord gives you salvation in Heaven (John 3:15-18; 5:24; 8:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom.5:1).

Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, (KJV)

It pleased God in His lovingkindness to choose Paul and call him, even before he was born (Eph.1:4-6)! God’s grace is undeserved mercy! Praise God! Separated = "set apart" in the plan of His electing love (Acts 9:15; 22:14). The actual "separating" or "setting apart" to the work marked out for Paul, is mentioned in Acts 13:2; Rom.1:1. God had separated Paul from his mother’s womb . . . so merit in Paul was out of the question. God’s grace is the sole reason that Paul was called (Ps.22:9; 71:6; Isa.49:1,5; Jer.1:5; Luke 1:15) and, when He calls anyone. God called Paul . . . on the way to Damascus (Acts 9:3-8). He was called in a most unusual and rare way.

Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: (KJV)

God revealed His Son to Paul so that he could proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. Because God was guiding his ministry, Paul was not doing anything that God had not already planned and given him power to do. In like manner, God told Jeremiah that God had called him, even before he was born, to do special work for God (Jer.1:5).

God knows each of us intimately as well, and He chose you to be His even before you were born (Ps.139; Eph.1:4-5). I was born into a heathen family. My paternal grandmother was a Gypsy fortune teller. To my knowledge, I am the only one in my family who is God's child. I truly believe that He calls people even before they are born, because I NEVER did anything to deserve His grace . . . but I am SO grateful for it.

If you are a Christian, He wants you to draw close to Him and to fulfill the purpose He has for your life. Please do not neglect your duty to God.

Galatians 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. (KJV)

Paul did not go to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles after his experience on the Damascus road. He went to Arabia and later returned to Damascus. This journey (not recorded in Acts) was during the entire period of his stay at Damascus, called by Luke (Acts 9:23), "many days." It seems that "many days" stood for "three years" in 1Kings 2:38-39.

This was a country of the Gentiles. Paul preached to the Gentiles the message God had given him. His Good News did not come from human wisdom . . . as with many of the cult preachers today (Mat.15:9), it came from God.

Galatians 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. (KJV)

It was not until three years later that Paul finally went to Jerusalem for a visit with Peter and stayed there with him for fifteen days. God does NOT ask you to live the Christian life. In fact, you CANNOT live it. What God desires, and asks of you is that He might live the Christian life through you. The Letter to the Galatians teaches this.

First of all you must come to Christ as a sinner and be saved. Churches today are filled with people who are NOT saved. WHY is this? They have never come to Christ and received Him as Saviour. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV) . . . Eternal life is a GIFT!!!

Salvation is a Gift! But, MOST people think they must DO something! Jesus says the only thing you must do is believe. John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (KJV) . . . Jesus does NOT lie!!

You can NEVER balance your good works against your sins and have enough on the plus side to be saved. It simply does NOT work like that! Ephes. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV) Your faith, also a gift from God (Rom.12:3) is a channel to God’s grace and eternal life!

Galatians 1:19-24 . . . 2:1-10

Galatians 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. (KJV)

Paul had no contact with the apostles except Peter, and James, the Lord’s brother. That is all the contact he had with them, and he received nothing from them.

Galatians 1:20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. (KJV)

Some say that Paul got his gospel by combining Greek philosophy and the Mosaic Law. Paul says here that he did NOT get the Gospel from anyone else. Paul also says he does not lie.

Galatians 1:21-22 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; [22] And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: (KJV)

If the time in Jerusalem Paul had been referring to in the previous verses was the one Luke recorded (Acts 9:27-29), then it appears he actually went first to Cilicia, Tarsus being its capital city, (Acts 9:30), then later, he and Barnabas went to Antioch, the capital of Syria (Acts 11:25-26). However, the order of events is NOT Paul’s purpose here, but rather to show that he spent the next part of his life away from Jerusalem, and was not being tutored by any human.

He tells his history to hopefully convince them that the Gospel they were abandoning, that he had preached to them, was NOT merely 'his' Gospel, but was from God. And since that was the case, they needed to cling to the Truths of that Gospel, and not to the lies of the false gospel they were not leaning towards.

He turns now his attention to the churches throughout Judea started by the twelve Apostles. If he was a disciple of one, or more, of the Twelve, and was accompanying them as they preached Christ, then these churches would have seen him, but they had not. This was further proof that he had not received his Gospel from the Twelve. It was also proof that none of the leaders in any of these churches instructed Paul in the ways of the Lord, because they never even met him. Saul (Paul) was NOT taught by the Apostles, and he was NOT taught by any other spiritual leader. He was taught this Gospel by the God.

In Christ Jesus,' 'in Christ,' 'in Jesus,' 'in the Lord,' 'in Him,' are common phrases used by Paul to mean the most intimate communion with the living Christ. These phrases are not found in the Synoptic Gospels. "In me” (Christ) is frequently found in the John's Gospel. (John 6:56; 10:38; 11:25; 14:1,10,20,30; 15:1,6-7; 16:33; 17:23). The idea is that of the environment in which a Christian lives, as a bird in the air, or the roots of a tree in the soil. Paul was not referring to temples where Judaism was taught, but churches where Jesus was taught.

To be in Christ, means: #1. Their being TRUE Christians; having received Christ by a true and sincere faith, and given themselves to obedience to Him. What Paul is saying is: If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. #2. Their being Christians in name, by baptism and outward profession.

Galatians 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. (KJV)

The believers were hearing things from time to time, that their former persecutor . . . the name by which he was known among Christians . . . better than by his name "Saul" was now preaching the Gospel. All they knew was that the one who used to persecute us now preaches the very faith he tried to destroy. Believers in Jerusalem hesitated to accept the apostle Paul. Without the help of Barnabas, Paul would probably have waited a long time before the church in Jerusalem would have received him. These believers remembered how Paul had persecuted the church . . . but they knew what it meant to be converted. They knew what it was to have an earth-shaking experience that would transform a man. Yet they found it hard to believe that Saul of Tarsus could be converted. To them, it seemed impossible.

Galatians 1:24 And they glorified God in me. (KJV)

Paul’s changed life brought praise to God from those who saw him or heard about him. His new life amazed them. They praised God because only God alone could have turned this zealous persecutor of Christians into a Christian himself. Very few of us had the dramatic change as Paul did, but our new lives should honor God in every way, every day. When people look at you, do they SEE that God changed you? If not, why not?

Book of Galatians

Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4 . Ch.5 . Ch.6

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