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by Frederick Brotherton Meyer
Outline of the Epistle to the Galatians
Gospel Liberty and Legal Bondage
Salutation, Galatians 1:1-5
I. The Apostle’s Vindication,Galatians 1:6-24; Galatians 1:6-24 ; Galatians 2:1-21
1. The Affront to His Authority , Galatians 1:6-10
2. His Commission God-given , Galatians 1:11-17
3. His Recognition in the Church , Galatians 1:18-24 ; Galatians 2:1-10
4. His Conflict with Cephas , Galatians 2:11-21
II. The Vindication of the Gospel, Galatians 3-6
1. The Folly of Reverting to Legalism , Galatians 3:1-5
2. The Example of Abraham , Galatians 3:6-29
3. The Covenants Contrasted , Galatians 4:1-31
4. The Conflict of the Flesh and the Spirit , Galatians 5:1-26
5. The Law of Christ , Galatians 6:1-10
Galatia was a province, occupying a central position in Asia Minor. It derived its name from the Gauls (tribes of Celts), who came thither from Europe. Jews resided there in large numbers, attracted by the opportunities for trade. Paul visited this region on his third missionary journey, Acts 18:23 . His converts, composed of Jews and proselytes, manifested great eagerness and affection at first; but soon after the Apostle had left them, they fell an easy prey to the Judaizers, who wished to make the Mosaic ritual binding upon the Christian Church. These followed Paul’s steps and made every effort to undermine his influence.
Their object in this was twofold:-first, to convince Jewish converts that Paul’s authority was inferior to that of Peter and others who represented the more conservative element in the Church; and second, to insist upon Gentiles submitting to the rites of the ceremonial law. On receiving information of this invasion of the young church that he had founded, Paul wrote this urgent letter to the Galatians from Ephesus in A.D. 54, to vindicate his authority and to insist upon the all-sufficiency of Christ’s redeeming work.
e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of Galations in the printed edition
Review Questions on the Epistle to the Galatians
( a ) How does Paul in this Epistle defend his own position as an Apostle?
( b ) How does he show that the gospel is a message of freedom?
( c ) When did Paul visit Galatia? What was the immediate result of his labors?
( d ) How was the development of this work obstructed?
( e ) How was this letter designed to meet the situation?
Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments.
1. What surprising situation had now developed in the Galatian church?
2. How had Paul received the gospel which he preached?
3. How did Paul first become acquainted with Peter?
4. To what work were Paul and Barnabas committed by the Apostles at Jerusalem?
5. For what had Paul been obliged to blame Peter? How does Paul contrast his past and present life?
6. How does Paul show the all-sufficiency of faith?
7. What is the relation of the Law to the covenant with Abraham?
8. What was the purpose of the Law?
9. What testimony does the Spirit bear in our hearts?
10. How had the Galatians showed their devotion and loyalty to Paul?
11. What allegorical use does Paul make of the story of Sarah and Hagar?
12. Why is compromise between grace and legalism impossible?
13. In what word is the whole Law fulfilled? What is the fruit of the Spirit?
14. Why should we help bear the burdens of others?
15. In what alone does Paul glory?
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29