"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
The setting for the letter to the Galatians was Galatia, an area of highlands located in the central southwest region of Modern Turkey. Galatia was named for the immigrant Gaul's from Thrace. The region of Galatia that Paul wrote to, included several of the main cities, e.g. Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Psidia and Antioch. Paul wrote this letter because of problems with legalism which had snuck into the church by false Jewish preachers, who tried to convince the Gentile believers they were required to fulfill all of the Mosaic laws in order to be Christians.
Introduction to Paul's Letter to the Galatians Part I - (Galatians 1:1)
Apostilic council for confused churches and the need to remember salvation is by God's grace through our faith alone in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul's letter to the Galatians was written to the churches in the region of Asia Minor called Galatia, this is now part of modern day Turkey. The primary theme of the letter is salvation by faith in Jesus alone. Given freely to us because of Jesus' work on the Cross of Calvary, which we accept by faith. At first the church was initially comprised of Jewish converts to Christianity. These were people who were born and raised in the religion of Judaism. However, because of social pressure, Jewish culture and fear of persecution, some were hesitant to give up or abandon the rituals and ceremonies of Judaism. As a result, they continued to live life under the Mosaic law. As time went on, God sent the disciples to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. As the Gospel was preached the Gentiles began to accept Jesus for salvation. As this happened a division between Judaism and Christianity began to develop.
This was because most Jewish believers continued to live life within the context of Jewish culture. This meant adherence to Mosaic laws, customs and rituals. This opened the door for Jews who were false teachers claiming to have faith in Christ, but in reality were proselytes after converts to Judaism. They came into the Gentile churches and tried to impose Mosaic laws such as dietary restrictions and circumcision on the Gentile believers. They did so by convincing them these rituals were needed for salvation. In order to combat this Paul wrote this letter to set the record straight and to help clarify proper Christian doctrine. Paul wanted to help the Galatian Christians understand salvation is a gift of God. It's given freely by God because of His mercy and grace toward us. And it's given through faith in Jesus alone and therefore not a product of any type of works or good deeds.
The Bethel series: a new format in adult biblical studies Harley A.Swiggum - The Foundation - 1961
Scripture taken from the Modern King James Version of the Holy Bible Copyright © 1962 - 1998 By Jay P. Green, Sr.
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