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Galatians Chapter 1

Memory verses for this week: 2 Pet 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:


Introduction:     We begin a new series this week on the book of Galatians.   There is no doubt that the author of this book is Paul as it says in the first verse.   My believers study bible says that even people who argue the authorship of other books agree that this one was clearly written by Paul, and was probably written in AD: 48 or 49 after Paulís first missionary journey. 

AUTHOR:    The Epistle to the Galatians is the work of the apostle Paul, as indicated in 1:1. This is the unanimous view of the early church, and even the most avid of the destructive critics, who deny the traditional authorship of other New Testament books, affirm that Galatians is genuinely Pauline.

DATE:     The problem in dating Galatians centers around the relationship of the letter to the Jerusalem Conference (c. a.d. 49Ė50), since both were concerned with the question of circumcision and Gentile salvation. Since Paul does not mention the decision of the Conference, some feel that Galatians must have been written in a.d. 48Ė49, after the first missionary journey and just prior to the Conference. The major difficulty with that date is that it leaves very little time for the events discussed to transpire. Others date the letter a.d. 55Ė57, several years after the Jerusalem Conference. This is based on the presupposition that Galatians 2:1Ė10 is a reference to the Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15). This view assumes that Paul does not mention the apostlesí decision on circumcision because he is arguing that his doctrine is from God, not from men 


I.                Paulís Introduction 

Gal 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;)

 Many of the Jews insinuated that Paul was not an apostle and could not stand on an equal basis with the other Apostles.  Their contention was that he was not one of the twelve, and was not commissioned by them, which was true.  But God had given Paul his apostleship.  His revelation of Jesus Christ was virtually miraculous as it was given by a divine miracle.   Paul was chosen to be an apostle by God, not by man. 

Acts 9:15   But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:  

Acts 1:15  And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said,  (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) 16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. 18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.  21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. 23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.    

1:1. Paul vehemently denies that his apostleship is due to human agencyóhe was not commissioned an apostle by any group (not of men) nor by any mortal individual (neither by man), but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead: Unlike the other apostles, Paul received his call from the resurrected, glorified, and exalted Jesus. This special reference to the Lordís resurrection implicitly confirms Paulís appointment as an apostle.   

In verse 1, Paul states that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.   The preaching that Paul did on the resurrection was one of the things that caused him much trouble. 

 Acts 25:10  Then said Paul, I stand at Caesarís judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. 11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.

13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. 14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paulís cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix: 15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him. 16 To whom I answered,  It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him. 17 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth. 18 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: 19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.  

Acts 26:6  And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hopeís sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.  8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?  

Gal 1:2  And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 

Note this letter was written to the local new testament churches in Galatia.  Always remember that the family of God is made up of all the saved in all the world, but the church is just made up of saved, baptized believers.  And they are in a local assembly, not some universal, invisible body. 

Gal 1:3  Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 

Grace is the keyword of this verse.  We are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Without the grace of God, no man could be saved. 

Romans 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  

John 1:17   For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8  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.

Titus 2:11   For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,   

Gal 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:

Gal 1:5  To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

Christ came and paid the sin debt there on Calvary.  By doing this, he delivered us from this evil world.  Praise God for the love God had for us.  Many cry out and ask for justice, but what we need is the mercy of God, not justice.  If we got what we deserved, weíd all spend eternity in the lake of fire for turning against a Holy and all-righteous God.   Christ saved us according to Godís Will. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

1 Peter 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

1 Peter 2:24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.  25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.



II.  True Gospel of Christ  

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

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

Paul was upset that false teachers had come and many had fallen away from the true gospel to another gospel.  And as he says in verse 7, it is not another gospel.  There is only one true gospel, and that is salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.   Following the laws and commandments will not get us into heaven, nor will many wonderful works.  Salvation always has been a gift of God, and all that come will come Godís way. 

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

1 Corinthians 1:17  For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.   3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The gospel is not difficult nor hard to understand.  It is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ according to the scriptures.   Iím sure youíve heard the accounts of Christís life, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John called the four gospels.  These are four accounts of the gospel, not four different gospels.  The Judiaziers there in Galatia had troubled the church and were guilty of perverting the gospel of Christ. 

Gal 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.

Gal 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. 

We find that Paul is saying that no one, not even an angel has the authority to preach another gospel.  God set the gospel, and that is the one and only one that is to be preached.  Paul didnít say to pat them on the back and say ďWe love you in the Lord brother.Ē  He say if any man preach another gospel, let him be accursed.  Not the message of tolerance that we are told that everyone should have for everyone, no matter what their sin is today. 

Gal 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.

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

Paul was not a man trying to win a popularity contest.  He spoke with truth and directness.  The man who will stand for the truth will never be popular.  Godís Word divides, and it sometimes hurts when it goes against what we want or believe.  Paul was seeking to please God with his life, and that should be the goal of every Christian.   Paul said if he pleased men, he would not be the servant of Christ. 

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

Paul tells that the gospel that he preached was not after man, but had been given to him by a special revelation of Jesus Christ..  Paul did not go to a theological seminary and learn this gospel.  His came directly from God.  Today, only by study can we understand the Word of God. 

III.    Paulís Apostolic Genealogy 

Gal 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:

Gal 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. 

Paul first gives his life before becoming a Christian. 

Acts 7:58  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.


Acts 8:1  And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Acts 8:2  And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

Acts 8:3  As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.


Acts 9:1  And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

Acts 9:2  And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.


Acts 26:9  I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

Acts 26:10  Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.

Acts 26:11  And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

Acts 26:12  Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,


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

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

We have the record of Paulís physical birth, his spiritual birth, and his call into the ministry in verses 15 and 16.   

Gal 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.

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

Gal 1:19  But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. 

Paul had much world learning, but it did not prepare him to be a capable theologian.  It was God giving him that special revelation while he was in Arabia. 

Gal 1:20  Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.

Gal 1:21  Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;

Gal 1:22  And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

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

Gal 1:24  And they glorified God in me.


Paul made an oath to lie not.  We are commanded to always tell the truth. 

Exo 20:16  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 


John 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.


The churches there in Judea were established by others, not Paul.  The Judean churches rejoiced to hear that Paul preached the true Gospel, and stood for the things of the Lord.   We glorify God when we preach and teach the truth. 

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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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