Understanding the setting
Paul's first missionary journey-Acts 13-14
Paul's second missionary journey-Acts 15:36-18:22
Paul's third missionary journey-Acts 18:23-21:17
Paul's first contact with the Galatians-Acts 16:6
Paul's second contact with the Galatians-Acts 18:23
Paul's mention of his time in Galatia-Galatians 4:13-16
During the early part of his third missionary journey Paul was at Ephesus for two years. It was from here that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth (I Corinthians) and probably to the Galatians. The book of Galatians is probably not his first correspondence with the Galatians(I Corinthians 16:1). There were other missionary contacts with the Galatians (II Timothy 4:10), and another letter written to christians in this area (I Peter 1:1).
Understanding the book
Where does this book fit into the New Testament?
As I John was written to refute the Gnostics, Galatians was written to refute the Judaizers. The Judaizers taught that in addition to faith in Christ, you had to follow the Law and be circumcised to be saved (Acts 15:1).
Why was this book written?
Let's look at the issues addressed:
Galatians 1:6-7--Distortion of the gospel
Galatians 1:10--Pleasing men rather than pleasing God
Galatians: 3:1-2--Reliance on works of the Law rather than faith
Galatians 3:3--Perfection by the flesh rather than by the Spirit
Key Verse/Main Theme
Galatians 5:1--It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Key words/ Words to pay attention to
gospel, faith, freedom, slavery, Law, justified, promise, flesh, Spirit, and synonyms for these words
How the book is divided/ Flow of thought
1:1-2:14--True Gospel (the one given by Paul)
2:15-3:29--True Justification (by faith alone)
4:1-5:1--True Position (as a son/heir, not a slave)
5:2-6:18--True Pefection ( by the Spirit, not by the flesh)
Understanding the foundation
Why did Christ come?
Luke 4:13-21--His purpose
John 8:31-36--What is ours through Him.
Acts 13:32-39--What does the gospel say?