The Purpose of Galatians

Why did Paul write Galatians? Theologians, dead in body but alive in spirit, offer some answers:


The reason the Apostle writes to the Galatians is so they may understand what it is that God’s grace accomplishes for them: they are no longer under the law. For though the grace of the gospel had been preached to them, there were some form the circumcision who still did not grasp the real benefit of grace. Despite being called Christians, they still wanted to be under the burdens of the law—burdens that the Lord God had imposed not on those serving righteousness but on those serving sin. That is, he had given a righteous law to unrighteous people to point out their sins, not take them away. He takes away sins only by the grace of faith, which works through love.


It is obvious to everyone, even at first glance, that this letter breathes an indignant spirit. But I must explain the cause of Paul’s anger against his disciples. It could not be something small and unimportant or he would not have used such intensity. Only small-minded, gloomy, and bad-tempered people are annoyed by ordinary matters, just as lazy and listless people lose heart in important matters. Paul was not that kind of person. What then was the offence which aroused him? It was serious and important, one which was separating them all from Christ, as he himself says further on, “Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all” (Gal 5:2); and again, “You who are trying to be justified by law … you have fallen away from grace” (Gal 5:4).


St. Paul wrote this epistle because, after his departure from the Galatian churches, Jewish-Christian fanatics moved in, who perverted Paul’s Gospel of man’s free justification by faith in Christ Jesus.

The world bears the Gospel a grudge because the Gospel condemns the religious wisdom of the world. Jealous for its own religious views, the world in turn charges the Gospel with being a subversive and licentious doctrine, offensive to God and man, a doctrine to be persecuted as the worst plague on earth.

As a result we have this paradoxical situation: The Gospel supplies the world with the salvation of Jesus Christ, peace of conscience, and every blessing. Just for that the world abhors the Gospel.

Published in: on June 10, 2011 at 11:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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