Monday, March 14, 2016

"No Other Gospel!" - Initial Steps for Studying Galatians

After Paul left Galatia, false teachers arrived who undermined his authority and the free gift of God’s grace. They tried to force these Gentile converts to be circumcised, and the new Christians fell for it! Paul was astonished. He reacted with the fieriest words he was ever inspired to write. Why would anyone trade freedom in Christ for bondage to the Law of Moses? Those clothed with Christ in baptism are free from the curse of the Law. We are free to serve, to love, and to give.  We dare not turn from Christ to sin, fall from grace, and be lost.

As you prepare for this study:
Read Paul’s letter to the Galatians, and write down several of your observations.
Read Acts 13 and 14, and use your Bible maps, to study and review the cities Paul visited as part of his mission efforts in Galatia. List the events that took place there.
Place:                    Event:                    Significance:
Read Acts 15, and keep this “Jerusalem Conference” in mind as you read Galatians.
Read all of Galatians at one sitting.
How does the letter compare or contrast with Paul’s other letters – in its greeting, its content, and its style?
What is the tone of the letter? Positive? Disciplinary? Gentle? Firm?
What is Paul’s state of mind? Is he happy? Fired up? Surprised?
What does Paul say about himself in the letter?
In what ways, and with what words, does Paul compliment the Galatians?
In what ways, and with what words, does Paul criticize the Galatians?
What major concerns and questions are addressed in the letter?
What false teachings does this letter seek to correct?
What doctrines and truths are taught?
What leadership principles emerge? What leadership challenges?
What words stand out as you read?
          Words that are repeated:
Words that express shock or dismay:
Words that rebuke or correct:
Words that commend:
Words that condemn:
How would you outline the letter?
What title would you give the letter as a whole?
What does Paul want the Galatians to do – or to stop doing – after reading the letter?
If you were to teach Galatians to someone else, how would you go about it?