Some Christians attend liberal churches, and some are in congregations marked by legalism. It’s important for us to be sound in our faith, with the right balances and a strong grip on the theology of grace. That’s where the book of Galatians comes in.
During the early days of the church, the first Christians were almost all Jews, and many thought Christianity was simply| Judaism plus Christ.
To become a Christian, one had to first become a Jew, then add Jesus to the equation. But the apostle Paul taught that pagans could come directly to Jesus for salvation without first becoming Jews, and this set the stage a major conflict of the New Testament church.
It’s likely that Galatians was written sometime around 48 A.D., just before the Jerusalem Council discussed the issue, and following Paul’s first missionary journey.
The letter to the Galatians has three parts. First, in chapters 1 and 2, Paul validated his own authority and the process by which he learned the Gospel message.
Second, in chapters three and four, he showed how the Old Testament taught the doctrine of justification by faith, using Abraham as a prime example.
Finally, in chapters 5 and 6, Paul described the Spirit-led lifestyle of those justified by grace.
We don’t have to obey lists or perform deeds to be saved. Our salvation is found in Christ, plus nothing. Faith in Christ alone leads to freedom and produces life-giving spiritual fruit in our lives by which we can bless others.
Since we are justified by faith alone and not by keeping the Law, Christianity is a living relationship with Christ, not a religion or a ritual.
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal 2:16).
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).