Bible Study Tool
An overview of Paul's letter to the Galatian Church
1. v. 6 The Galatians were perverting the gospel of Christ and being removed from Him, Jesus, Who had called them into the grace (free gift) of Christ.
v. 15 God called Paul to reveal Jesus in Paul so that Paul could preach Jesus to the unsaved. Clearly, it was Jesus doing the preaching through Paul.
v. 24God was in Paul. Paul was not glorified, God in Paul was glorified.
2. v. 4 Some false apostles wanted to bring them into bondage. In this second chapter, Paul also establishes that he is a true apostle because he was accepted by those who were first put into the office and he was in submission to them. The false apostles came on their own. Paul didn't come in his own power and authority the way that the false apostles did. Paul came by yielding to the Holy Spirit. He was actually sent by God. The word, apostle, means: "one sent."
v. 11 The order of apostles is a vital part of Church government. This government must be established by God. There is no such thing as an independent apostle. The apostles are not a consortium. They walk in unity. There is one apostle's doctrine revealed by the Holy Spirit from Scripture. True apostles all walk in submission to each other and each apostle is under the government of all the other apostles. If there are 13 apostles, then each of them has 12 apostles ruling over them. This is only possible because of the leading of the Holy Spirit. The thing that Paul talked to Peter about was that Peter was going along with some who wanted to bring them under the law, circumcision in particular. Old Testament circumcision is a type and shadow of the removal of the flesh in the New Testament, a work that God has not yet completed in the Church as of 2011. This spiritual removal of the flesh is what God is doing through the Church. The completeness of this work is every member of the Body of Christ totally in submission to Christ and functioning in the correct place in the Body of Christ and the entire Body of Christ being built according to the pattern of Scripture. Only the Holy Spirit can perform such a task. This is the perfection, which is completeness, of which Scripture speaks.
v. 16 No one can be justified by using human effort to obey God's law. Anyone can be justified by thefaith of Jesus Christ. This is not human faith. It is actually the faith of God that God gives us as a free gift. This faith comes by hearing God speak and by our submission to His leading.
v. 17 This is just saying that if, while we are seeking to be justified by the faith of Jesus Christ we are not obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and do not allow the Holy Spirit to do His work through us, that does not mean that the sin proceeds from Jesus. It is actually the work of the flesh. We who follow Christ have a fleshly nature. We don't identify with that nature, agree with it, conform to it's will, or make any provision for it. We also have a spiritual nature, the nature of Christ. This is Christ in us. We identify with Christ, agree with Him, conform to His will, and make every provision for Him.
v. 18 If anyone disobeys God they are obeying the flesh. When they obey the flesh, they build up the flesh and tear down Christ within. They build up the flesh and re-crucify Christ again in themselves. If anyone is not obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and does not allow the Holy Spirit to do His work through them, they make themselves a transgressor of the law. They go back under the law as a transgressor. This is speaking of willful sin, of which we are all guilty from time to time, but we dare not continue in it. We must confess that sin to God, and maybe even to a trusted brother or sister in Christ, and turn from that sin. Then, God is faithful and just to forgive the sin.
3. v. 1 They were not obeying the Truth. Jesus is the real Truth. Our part is to obey Him, to yield. But they were trying to establish their own righteousness rather than yielding to the righteousness of God and letting God do His works through them.
v.3 3 The flesh can only do sin. The flesh cannot do any righteousness. They were born again by the Spirit of God. The word, "perfect," here means complete. "... are ye now made perfect (complete) by the flesh?" The answer, of course, is No. No one can finish God's work in themselves by the efforts of the flesh. If they try, then they frustrate the grace of God. They get in the way. It seems that the Holy Spirit just kind of lifts off of us if we start to try to do good work in our own strength. He returns as soon as we are willing to submit.
4. v. 5 Some have used this Scripture in the light of Western adoption of sons, and use it to illustrate the way that God brought us into His family--and that is a nice illustration. The Scripture, however, is actually referring to Eastern adoption, which is quite different. Eastern adoption is the placing of a mature son into a ruling position and it is only available to born sons of the father. That is why no one can really join the Church. We must be born in. In the letter to the Romans, we see that this adoption is the same as the redemption of our bodies. It is the completion that was mentioned in Galatians 3:3 that is only possible by yielding to the Spirit of God. Other Scriptures show us that the Holy Spirit will lead us to become a living stone in the temple (the Church), or a part of the body working perfectly performing the proper function in the exact place in the body (the Church) for which we were created. When this Church is formed completely according to the Pattern of Scripture, then the adoption of sons will take place. Some call this the rapture, though there are many theology wars and fanciful stories concerning this that are best avoided.
v. 10 Paul is afraid that they may slip away from Christ entirely since they are trying to please God with forms, rituals, and observances rather than yielding to the Spirit of God.
v. 19 Paul was experiencing the pain like childbirth for them--until they entered into the adoption, the fulfillment of everything, having Christ FULLY formed in them.
v. 31 The verses before this one speak of Isaac and Ishmael and point out that they are exactly different from each other, one being free and the other being a slave. We have a freedom in Christ. By the power of Christ, we are free from slavery to sin. We are free to do the will of God, not us ourselves doing it of course, but Christ doing His work through us as we yield to Him. Trying in our own effort makes us slave to sin. The flesh cannot do righteousness. So, we want to stand very firmly in this freedom, this liberty, with which Christ made us free. We don't want to get tangled up in the law again. When we yield to Christ, He will certainly fulfill the whole law in us. If we try in the flesh, we will certainly fulfill the fruit of the flesh.
5. Leaven is a type of pride and prideful sin. Prideful sin has a way of spreading. Pride is failure to see reality. Humility is sanity. It is the ability to see the reality that we are totally dependent on God. God never created us to think without His Spirit thinking His thoughts through us. He never created us to try to do works without the Holy Spirit. Pride makes us think that we can self-generate good works. Reality tells us that we need to flow continually in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Anything else is sin.
v. 22 The fruit of the Spirit is what grows when you yield to the Spirit. There is no law against the fruit of the Spirit.
v. 24 When you are born again, your flesh is being crucified. It dies a little every time that you obey Jesus. We may have the Spirit and yet refuse to yield to the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit is to yield continually to the Spirit's righteousness. God has a leading for us in every moment of our lives. If we abide in the Spirit and yield to the Spirit, then we will do the will of God and obey the whole law of God. If we sin, then we confess our sin and God is faithful and just to forgive our sin.
6. You and I can be deceived. The enemy of our souls is always trying to fool us. Our hearts are wicked and deceitful. The flesh will tell you that you can fool God. You cannot. Every time you obey the Holy Spirit, you sow good seed into your soul garden. Your heart becomes more receptive to God. You see reality more clearly. Every time you obey your flesh, the culture/world, or Satan, you sow bad seed into your soul garden. Your heart become harder to God. Your vision becomes unclear. You cannot hear God's direction as well. Those seed grow up and you reap what you sow. Guard your heart. Do not let the enemy sow his seeds in there. Make sure that you allow the Holy Spirit to sow good seed there. Every time you yield to the Spirit and let grace do God's work in you, God plants good seed in your soul garden. Your heart becomes more receptive to God. Your vision becomes more clear. You can hear God more clearly. Keep walking. Be patient with God's process..
God has established the pattern of Scripture, for life and for the Church.