Galatians



by Ken Cayce



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Galatians Explained





Galatians Explained

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Title: Galatians derives its title (pros Galatas), from the region in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), where the churches addressed were located. It is the only one of Paul's epistles specifically addressed to churches in more than one city (1:2; compare 3:1; 1 Cor. 16:1).


The letter is addressed "unto the churches of Galatia" (1:2), and its readers are called "Galatians" (3:1). The term Galatia was originally used in an ethnic manner, referring to north central Asia Minor settled by the invading Gauls. Later "Galatia" was employed in a political sense, referring to the Roman province that included the cities south of the Gaulish territory: Lystra, Derbe, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch. While it is uncertain whether the letter was sent to North or South Galatia, this problem has little bearing on the value or understanding of the epistle.


Author - Date: The letter to the Galatians claims the apostle Paul as its writer (1:1, 5:2), and this is attested by the brief autobiography in 1:12-24, as well as by the epistle's language, style, vocabulary, and theology.


Paul was born in Tarsus, a city in the province of Cilicia, not far from Galatia. Under the famous rabbi, Gamaliel, Paul received a thorough training in the Old Testament Scriptures and in the rabbinic traditions at Jerusalem (Acts 22:3). A member of the ultra-orthodox sect of the Pharisees (Acts 23:6), he was one of first century Judaism's rising stars (1:14; compare Phil. 3:5-6).


The course of Paul's life took a sudden and startling turn when, on his way to Damascus from Jerusalem to persecute Christians, he was confronted by the risen, glorified Christ (see notes on Acts 9). That dramatic encounter turned Paul from Christianity's chief persecutor to its greatest missionary. His 3 missionary journeys and trip to Rome turned Christianity from a faith that included only a small group of Palestinian Jewish believers into an Empire wide phenomenon. Galatians is one of 13 inspired letters he addressed to Gentile congregations or his fellow workers.


In chapter 2, Paul described his visit to the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 (see note on 2:1), so he must have written Galatians after that event. Since most scholars date the Jerusalem Council about A.D. 49, the most likely date for Galatians is shortly thereafter.


If the letter was sent to North Galatia, Paul and his missionary team planted the Galatian churches during his second missionary journey. So the epistle was written to them from either Ephesus (A.D. 54), or Macedonia (A.D. 55), while on his third missionary journey. But if the letter was addressed to the political (South), Galatia; then Paul started the church on his first missionary trip, writing to them at the end of this journey from his home church in Antioch (A.D. 49). Paul had led the Galatians to Christ (3:1). They had made a good start in the Christian life (3:3), and were doing well spiritually (5:7). Later, some Jewish teachers (called Judaizers), taught the Galatians that to be saved one must not only believe in Christ, but must also obey the Mosaic Law, the sign of which is circumcision. In preaching this heresy, they also attacked Paul's apostleship and gospel. Their false gospel had a detrimental effect on the Galatians: it was beginning to hinder their obedience to God (5:7), they were starting to observe some parts of the law (4:10), and they were considering a complete acceptance of the law (12:6; 4:9).


Background - Setting: In Paul's day, the word Galatia had two distinct meanings. In a strict ethnic sense, Galatia was the region of central Asia Minor inhabited by the Galatians. They were a Celtic people who had migrated to that region from Gaul (modern France), in the third century B.C. The Romans conquered the Galatians (in 189 B.C.), but allowed them to have some measure of independence until 25 B.C. when Galatia became a Roman province, incorporating some regions not inhabited by ethnic Galatians (e.g., parts of Lycaonia, Phrygia, and Pisidia). In a political sense, Galatia came to describe the entire Roman province, not merely the region inhabited by the ethnic Galatians.


Paul founded churches in the southern Galatian cities of Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe (Acts 13:14 - 14:23). These cities, although within the Roman province of Galatia, were not in the ethnic Galatian region. There is no record of Paul's founding churches in that northern, less populated region.


Those two uses of the word Galatia make it more difficult to determine who the original recipients of the epistle were. Some interpret Galatia in its strict racial sense and argue that Paul addressed this epistle to churches in the northern Galatian region, inhabited by the ethnic descendants of the Gauls. Although the apostle apparently crossed the border into the fringes of ethnic Galatia on at least two occasions (Acts 16:6; 18:23), Acts does not record that he founded any churches or engaged in any evangelistic ministry there.


Because neither Acts nor Galatians mentions any cities or people from northern (ethnic) Galatia, it is reasonable to believe that Paul addressed this epistle to churches located in the southern part of the Roman province, but outside of the ethnic Galatian region. Acts records the apostle's founding of such churches at Pisidian Antioch (13:14-50), Iconium (13:51 - 14:7; compare 16:2), Lystra (14:8-19; compare 16:2), and Derbe (14:20-21; compare 16:1). In addition, the churches Paul addressed had apparently been established before the Jerusalem Council (2:5), and the churches of southern Galatia fit that criteria, having been founded during Paul's first missionary journey before the Council met. Paul did not visit northern (ethnic) Galatia, until after the Jerusalem Council (Acts 16:6).


Paul seeks to expose the error of the Judaizers' gospel and their impure motives (6:12-13). His ultimate goal is to prevent the readers from embracing a false gospel and to encourage them to retain their spiritual freedom in Christ (5:1). The apostle does not want his dear converts to be tied up with all the now abolished rules and regulations of the Mosaic Law, which will lead them into legalism.


Paul wrote Galatians to counter Judaizing false teachers who were undermining the central New Testament doctrine of justification by faith (see note on Romans 3:31). Ignoring the express decree of the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:23-29), they spread their dangerous teaching that Gentiles must first become Jewish proselytes and submit to all the Mosaic law before they could become Christians (see 1:7; 4:17, 21; 5:2-12; 6:12-13). Shocked by the Galatians' openness to that damning heresy (compare 1:6), Paul wrote this letter to defend justification by faith, and warn these churches of the dire consequences of abandoning that essential doctrine. Galatians is the only epistle Paul wrote that does not contain a commendation for its readers, that obvious omission reflects how urgently he felt about confronting the defection and defending the essential doctrine of justification.


The central feature of the letter is justification by God's grace through faith.


In chapters 1 and 2 Paul defends his gospel, arguing that it is the true message of salvation since he received it directly from Christ. Then in chapters 3 and 4 he defines exactly what his gospel is: man is justified (saved), not by keeping the law, but by God's grace alone. That is, through his faith in Christ's atoning death. Lastly, in chapters 5 and 6 the apostle briefly applies his gospel to various areas of daily living.





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Galatians 1 Galatians 4
Galatians 2 Galatians 5
Galatians 3 Galatians 6


Galatians 1

 

Galatians Chapter 1


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;)”


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


Galatians 1:3 “Grace [be] to you and peace from God the Father, and [from] our Lord Jesus Christ,”


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:” Galatians 1:5 “To whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.”


Galatians 1:5 “To whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.”


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


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


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.”



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."

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."

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

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

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:"

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."

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

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:"

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."

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

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

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

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

Galatians 1:22 "And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judea which were in Christ:"

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

Galatians 1:24 "And they glorified God in me."

Galatians 2


Galatians Chapter 2

Galatians 2:1 "Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with [me] also."

Galatians 2:2 "And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain."

Galatians 2:3 "But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:"

Galatians 2:4 "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 2:5 "To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you."

Galatians 2:6 "But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed [to be somewhat] in conference added nothing to me:"

Galatians 2:7 "But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter;"

Galatians 2:8 "(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)"

Galatians 2:9 "And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we [should go] unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."

Galatians 2:10 "Only [they would] that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do."

Galatians 2:11 "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed."

Galatians 2:12 "For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision."

Galatians 2:13 "And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation."

Galatians 2:14 "But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before [them] all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?"

Galatians 2:15 "We [who are] Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,"

Galatians 2:16 "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 2:17 "But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, [is] therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid."

Galatians 2:18 "For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor."

Galatians 2:19 "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God."

Galatians 2:20 "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 2:21 "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

Galatians 3


Galatians Chapter 3

Galatians 3:1 "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?"

Galatians 3:2 "This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"

Galatians 3:3 "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"

Galatians 3:4 "Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if [it be] yet in vain."

Galatians 3:5 "He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, [doeth he it] by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"

Galatians 3:6 "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."

Galatians 3:7 "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham."

Galatians 3:8 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Galatians 3:9 "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."

Galatians 3:10 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."

Galatians 3:11 "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith."

Galatians 3:12 "And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them."

Galatians 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:"

Galatians 3:14 "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Galatians 3:15 "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though [it be] but a man's covenant, yet [if it be] confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto."

Galatians 3:16 "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."

Galatians 3:17 "And this I say, [that] the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect."

Galatians 3:18 "For if the inheritance [be] of the law, [it is] no more of promise: but God gave [it] to Abraham by promise."

Galatians 3:19 "Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."

Galatians 3:20 "Now a mediator is not [a mediator] of one, but God is one."

Galatians 3:21 "[Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law."

Galatians 3:22 "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."

Galatians 3:23 "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed."

Galatians 3:24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

Galatians 3:25 "But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."

Galatians 3:26 "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."

Galatians 3:27 "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Galatians 4


Galatians Chapter 4

Galatians 4:1 "Now I say, [That] the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;"

Galatians 4:2 "But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father."

Galatians 4:3 "Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:"

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,"

Galatians 4:5 "To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

Galatians 4:6 "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

Galatians 4:7 "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

Galatians 4:8 "Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods."

Galatians 4:9 " But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?"

Galatians 4:10 "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years."

Galatians 4:11 "I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain."

Galatians 4:12 "Brethren, I beseech you, be as I [am]; for I [am] as ye [are]: ye have not injured me at all."

Galatians 4:13 "Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first."

Galatians 4:14 "And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, [even] as Christ Jesus."

Galatians 4:15 "Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if [it had been] possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me."

Galatians 4:16 "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"

Galatians 4:17 "They zealously affect you, [but] not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them."

Galatians 4:18 "But [it is] good to be zealously affected always in [a] good [thing], and not only when I am present with you."

Galatians 4:19 "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,"

Galatians 4:20 "I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you."

Galatians 4:21 "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?"

Galatians 4:22 "For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman."

Galatians 4:23 "But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman [was] by promise."

Galatians 4:24 "Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar."

Galatians 4:25 "For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children."

Galatians 4:26 "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."

Galatians 4:27 "For it is written, Rejoice, [thou] barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath a husband."

Galatians 4:28 "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise."

Galatians 4:29 "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him [that was born] after the Spirit, even so [it is] now."

Galatians 4:30 "Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."

Galatians 4:31 "So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free."

Galatians 5


Galatians Chapter 5

Galatians 5:1 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

Galatians 5:2 "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing."

Galatians 5:3 "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law."

Galatians 5:4 "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."

Galatians 5:5 "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."

Galatians 5:6 "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

Galatians 5:7 "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"

Galatians 5:8 "This persuasion [cometh] not of him that calleth you."

Galatians 5:9 "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."

Galatians 5:10 "I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be."

Galatians 5:11 "And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased."

Galatians 5:12 "I would they were even cut off which trouble you."

Galatians 5:13 "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."

Galatians 5:14 "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Galatians 5:15 " But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."

Galatians 5:16 "[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

Galatians 5:17 "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

Galatians 5:18 "But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law."

Galatians 5:19 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,"

Galatians 5:20 "Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,"

Galatians 5:21 "Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,"

Galatians 5:23 "Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Galatians 5:24 "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

Galatians 5:25 "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

Galatians 5:26 "Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."

Galatians 6


Galatians Chapter 6

Galatians 6:1 "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."

Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."

Galatians 6:3 "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."

Galatians 6:4 "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another."

Galatians 6:5 "For every man shall bear his own burden."

Galatians 6:6 "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things."

Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Galatians 6:8 "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

Galatians 6:10 "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

Galatians 6:11 "Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand."

Galatians 6:12 "As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ."

Galatians 6:13 "For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh."

Galatians 6:14 "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."

Galatians 6:15 "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."

Galatians 6:16 "And as many as walk according to this rule, peace [be] on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."

Galatians 6:17 "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."

Galatians 6:18 "Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen."

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