Galatians

These are all of the chapters of the book of Galatians. Clicking on a chapter will show you the text of that chapter of Galatians in the Bible (New International Version).

Galatians, Book of Galatians, Galatians Summary

Who Wrote the Book of Galatians?

The letter to the Galatians begins by giving credit to Paul, an apostle of Jesus, as the author. Paul, formerly named Saul, was not part of the original twelve disciples who followed Jesus during His earthly ministry. In Acts, readers learn that Paul was a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. Before his conversion, Paul stated he was greatly zealous for the law of God and made a great effort to continually persecute Christians. Paul had a powerful and life-changing encounter with Jesus in Acts 9, which resulted in his conversion. Following his conversion, Paul dedicated his life to sharing the gospel message of Jesus to all nations and building up the body of Chris

Paul worked with many other believers in his ministry to spread the gospel and was found wrongly imprisoned for sharing his faith. He is known for having such great faith that even when in prison, he would praise the Lord and share the gospel with the prison guards, causing many guards and prisoners to come to believe in Jesus Christ. Though the Bible doesn’t state how Paul died, it is widely believed that he died a martyr’s death in Rome.

Context and Background of Galatians

This letter to the Galatians was likely written in the latter part of the 50s, according to the Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis. In this letter to the church of Galatia, Paul wrote to a church he had started earlier in his ministry. He wrote the letter to both warn and encourage the church in Galatia to continue following the gospel message he had preached to them, and to not believe the contradictions they were hearing from others, say researchers in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament. The Galatian church was comprised of Christian Gentiles who were being approached by Jewish Christians telling them that they had to meticulously follow the Law. Those teachings were inconsistent with the gospel message with which Paul had established the church. Therefore, Paul wrote to clarify and correct the wrong instruction that the Galatians were being taught.

Main Theme and Purpose of Galatians

The Galatians were being told by Jewish Christians that they should follow the Old Testament Law. Paul went to great lengths to remind them that Christ fulfilled the Law and had sent the Spirit to dwell in the hearts of every believer. Therefore, reliance on the Holy Spirit, not the Law, was what saved them. Paul wrote to the church that the Spirit was with them because of their faith, not because of obedience to the Law, explain researchers in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Paul referred to the Old Testament and used the example of Abraham. Abraham was justified by faith, not because he followed the Law.

What Can We Learn from Galatians Today?

Paul reiterated that no one is justified before God by following the Law, but rather by their faith. Christians today still struggle with the idea that we can earn our way to heaven – some Christians even worry if they are doing enough to be saved. The letter to the church of Galatia reminds us that it is dwelling in Christ which makes us righteous. We are not obligated to follow the Law of the Old Testament, rather, our belief in Jesus is what saves us and justifies us before God. Jesus fulfilled the Law and set us free from being cursed by and judged according to the Law.

Instead of focusing on our self-effort, Paul wrote to these believers to focus on Jesus. The message remains the same for us today. We have been set free by Jesus’ work on the cross, and this letter instructs us to let go of our sinful ways. We were not made to be sinners, but to be saints. We were made alive in Christ and can live according to His ways. We can live modeling Jesus’ life of righteousness. It is common for Christians to feel the temptation of our sinful flesh and the difficulty at times to live by the Spirit within us. As believers, we can let go of the burden of sin and follow the ways of the Spirit. We will in turn be rewarded with eternal life because we have been justified by Jesus’ work on the cross.

Paul wrote that though we are free, we should use our freedom not to indulge sinful activities, but to be righteous. This letter includes an invitation for believers to love others and to serve others. It echoes the Great Commission from the words of Jesus. As we walk in the Spirit, we are free to love others and bear the fruit of the Spirit. Paul asserted godly living is a natural flow from our salvation and justification. We will continue to grow in Jesus and resist worldly temptations as we grow deeper in our faith.

Our Favorite Verses from Galatians

Galatians 1:15: But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace.

Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 3:26: For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 4:7: Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Galatians 4:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 5:1: Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:13: For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 6:9: And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

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Pamela Palmer is a writer, chaplain, and the founder of upheldlife.com, the platform on which she produces weekly devotionals and faith resource articles to inspire keeping faith at the center of it all. She lives and thrives on Jesus, coffee, and music. She is in pastoral ministry and gets to share in the emotional and spiritual lives of many people, being a small piece of each journey. Pamela married the perfect man for her and they have two beautiful kiddos. She has been published on herviewfromhome.com and you can follow her at upheldlife.com, or on Facebook.com/upheldlife.