What prompted Paul to write to them?
ESV - 2 And all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
I humbly submit a brief history and purpose of Paul’s writing to the Galatians for your consideration. Historical context Written about A.D. 56 from a city within Macedonia to the churches in Galatia The churches of both Northern and Southern Galatia were founded by Paul on his first missionary journey through Asia Minor. And were generally comprised of both Jewish and Roman believers. Purpose of Writing To The Galatians The “Judaizers” who were false teachers and had slowly crept into the churches were seeking to undermine the faith of Gentile converts by insisting on circumcision and other requirements of the Jewish religion. In order to some how complete and enter into the fullness of their salvation and belief in Christ. (Galatians 2:4; Philippians 3:2-3) Their mission had two main points 1. Undermine their confidence in Paul’s divinely commissioned apostleship as equal to the twelve. 2. Subvert Paul’s teaching that man is saved by “FAITH ALONE.” Paul wrote to the Galatians to defend his apostolic authority and establish the doctrine of “JUSTIFICATION” by faith and only faith alone, upon scripture and reason.(Ephesians 1:13) Bottom line In Galatians we see Paul the warrior come alive with the fire of GOD to defend the True Gospel and HIS message from those who would seek to corrupt it for their own devious purposes. (2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4) I humbly submit this is the Gospel warriors operating manual and handbook for standing and defending against all who would seek to corrupt the true message to a dying world. (1 Corinthians 16:13; Ephesians 2:2) Today this false doctrine is alive and well, within some mainline denominations and all cults, simply expressed as GOD + WHATEVER WE TELL YOU = salvation. (2 Corinthians 11:4; 2 Corinthians 10:5) In the Lord’s freedom setting the captive free…..warrior on
Aside from any information about this epistle and the history of the churches in Galatia that can be gained through the study of commentaries or other non-Biblical sources, I believe that the text of Galatians itself makes clear why Paul was prompted to write it. Apparently, within a relatively short time after Paul had left Galatia following his establishment of the Christian communities there, individuals had appeared among the membership who had caused confusion by presenting a different doctrine than the message that had been preached by Paul and his associates. Specifically, these individuals (who are commonly referred to today as "Judaizers") had informed the Galatians that faith in Christ was not sufficient to receive salvation, but that, in order for these Gentile Christians to be saved, it was also necessary for them to undergo the Jewish ritual of circumcision, and to comply with the full requirements of the Law given to Israel by God through Moses. This teaching threatened to blur the crucial distinction between Law and Gospel. It was precisely because no one had been able to be justified in God's sight by the works and requirements of the Law (as a consequence of humanity's universal sin) that God had incarnated Himself in the person of Jesus to live a sinless life, die a sacrificial death to satisfy God's justice for the sins of all humanity, and rise again from the dead to show that that atonement had been sufficient, and to free humanity from the necessity to perfectly comply with the Law in order to be saved. Paul illustrated this truth in his epistle through examples such as the life of Abraham (who was recorded in Genesis as having been justified in God's sight by his faith, prior to the initiation of male circumcision as a sign of the covenant between God, Abraham, and Abraham's descendants) (Galatians 3:6-9; Genesis 15:6). Paul emphasized that the purpose for which the Law had been given was good, because it enabled us to recognize our sinfulness, and to be moved to avail ourselves of the full and final salvation that God had made possible through faith in Christ. However, the Law was not (and never had been) intended as the means by which humanity could be saved, since no one was capable of complying with it perfectly, as it required. Forcing Christians to comply with the Law in order to be saved was, as Paul said, putting them once again under a "yoke of slavery" (Galatians 5:1), in contrast to Christians' new status as God's children (instead of slaves), and to the freedom from the Law that Christ had died to give them, where they now could comply with Christ's command to love God with all their heart, and to love their neighbors as themselves, not as a means of being saved, but in gratitude to God for the salvation that He had already given them because of their faith in Christ.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.