Galatians Chapter 1

March 8, 2012

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Galatians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Galatians 1:1-24 (NIV)
1 Paul, an apostle–sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead– 2 and all the brothers with me, To the churches in Galatia: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. 11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles–only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.

Galatians 1:1-9

After a short introduction Paul launches into an immediate confrontation with the Judaizers. Paul reminds the church that the “gospel” the Judaizers are preaching is no gospel at all. Paul pulls no punches in saying the gospel they are presenting is false and that the Judaizers should be eternally condemned for preaching it.

Galatians 1:10

Apparently, the Judaizers had accused Paul of presenting an “easy message” because Paul wanted to be a people pleaser and was trying to avoid conflict.

That does not sound anything like the Paul we have been studying for the last six months or so. Paul doesn’t shy away from conflict and he isn’t going to shy away from conflict with the Judaizers either.

Galatians 1:11-17

You remember that Paul had a radical encounter with Jesus on the road to Demascus which lead to his conversion. Prior to this he was a huge persecutor of the church.

It was as a direct result of this encounter that Paul begins to preach the gospel. The gospel was given to him by direct revelation from Jesus. Paul says it did not come from any man because he didn’t even go to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before he was until several years later.

This is an important point that Paul is making regarding his apostleship. The Judaizers are claiming to have authority because they are from the church in Jerusalem. Paul claims an apostleship equal to the original twelve and a revelation that came to him directly from God.

Galatians 1:18-24

Three years after his conversion Paul makes his first trip to Jerusalem and he spends fifteen days with Peter and he also meets James, the brother of Jesus. He did not meet with any of the other apostles or leaders of the church in Jerusalem until 14 years later when the church in Jerusalem validates Paul’s ministry and message to the Gentiles which we will talk about in chapter 2.

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