In this book, the Apostle Paul slams legalism, and defends the freedom we have in Christ. There were “Judiazers”, legalistic teachers from the Jerusalem church who came to the province of Galatia, and tried to force the Christians into a more strict observance of the Old Testament Law. Needless to say, they were forcefully opposed by Paul. There are many key verses: Galatians 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me….” But perhaps chapter five is the key chapter. It contrasts what happens when we’re in control (“works of the flesh”) with what happens when the Holy Spirit is in control (“the Fruits of the Spirit”). And Galatians 5:13 is a call to use our freedom in Christ as an opportunity to serve each other in love.
Here’s an outline of Galatians:
I. Personal: The Gospel of Grace. Justification by faith defended (1:1-2:21)
II. Doctrinal: The gospel of grace. Justification by faith explained (3:1-4:31)
III. Practical: The gospel of grace. Justification by faith applied (5:1-6:18)