Paul wrote this letter to his Galatian converts between A.D 48-A.D 58 when he learnt about the Jewish Christian teachers trying to turn them against him and to convince them that as Gentles, they needed to be circumcised and to keep the ritual law in order to be saved- see Chapter 5:2-6, 6:12-15 and 4:10.
In the letter Paul vindicates his authority as an expositor of the Gospel and condemns the Judaizing position as anti-Christian legalism. Apostle Paul makes them to understand that all believers either Jew or Gentile enjoy in Christ a complete Salvation. They are justified, adopted, renewed and made God’s heirs according to the promises of the Abrahamic covenant – see Chapter 3:6-18, 4:4-7 and 6:15. Faith in Christ of Calvary thus frees them forever from the need to seek salvation through works of law. This question in any case is hopeless for the law does not save nor was it meant to but it can only condemn, and when trusted for salvation, it leads only to bondage.
Believers must not therefore revert to the principle of law keeping as a ground of salvation or else they return to slavery and forfeit the grace of Christ – 5:1-4. Rather, they must hold fast to the freedom that Christ has given them and serve God and their fellows in the power of the Spirit as free men, gladly fulfilling the will of their savior – see Chapter 5:13- 6:2. Apostle Paul’s argument shows that all legalistic versions of the Gospel are perversions of it,and that the enjoyment of Christian liberty depends on seeing that salvation is by grace alone, through Christ alone, received by faith alone, and not by works.
THE OUTLINE OF THE EPISTLE OF GALATIANS:
Introduction- Chapter 1;1-9
Apostle Paul’s greeting to the Galatians- Chapter 1:1-5
Occasion for writing about their lapse from the gospel- Chapter 1;6-9
Apostle Paul’s authority/authenticity of his message – Chapter 1:1-2:21
The gospel revealed to him by Christ- Chapter 1;10-24
Paul’s gospel acknowledged by other apostles- Chapter 2;1-10
Paul’s gospel vindicated against Peter’s compromises- Chapter 2;11-21.
The way of salvation- Chapter 3:4
Salvation in Christ by faith, not works- Chapter 3:1-14
Salvation in Christ is through promise, not law- Chapter 3;15-22
Those who trust in Christ are sons, not slaves- Chapter 3:23-4:7
The expostulation- Chapter 4:8-28
Why revert to slavish superstition?- Chapter 4:8:11
Why turning against me and my teacher- Chapter 4:12-20
Those who trust in the law are slaves, not sons- Chapter 4:21-31
The path of freedom- Chapter 5:6
Freedom must not be lost through legalism- Chapter 5:1-12
Freedom must not be abused through license- Chapter 5:13-26
Freedom must not be expressed through service- Chapter 6;1-10
Sacrificial living in contrast to legalism- Chapter 6:11-18