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Galatians 1 - BIBLE STUDY WITH ME



Throughout the next couple of weeks, I'm so excited to bring you along on a new Bible study series. In my own time with the Lord, I'm going through Galatians, but for the next six posts, we're going to be studying it together. We're going to break it down, understand it contextually and literally, but also how we can apply it to our every day lives. It's my prayer that we are able to grow and learn as we journey through Galatians together, and that I'm able to offer a little clarity and encouragement along the way. :)


Before we jump into chapter 1, you should know that the churches in Galatia were comprised of both Jew and Gentile converts. Galatia was actually a region around what is now modern day Turkey, so the book of Galatians addressed not one single church, but all of the churches in the area. But as Paul was writing Galatians, there was a major issue that he worked to address. The Jews in these churches, also known as Judiazers, were attempting to teach the Gentile converts a gospel of faith through work and circumcision. They weren't fully grasping grace and freedom through Christ Jesus, and that was causing significant misbelief and conflict within the church. In fact, it's within the very first chapter that Paul calls out these false gospels, but we'll get to that in just a moment.


Within the first five verses, Paul introduces himself and briefly mentions the gospel which he is proclaiming: Jesus. He tells the churches that Jesus gave Himself for our sins and was raised from the dead, to rescue us, and all of this was according to the will and the glory of the Father.


I love that this is the first thing that Paul talks about in this book because who Jesus is and what He has done for us should be the foundation of everything that we do, believe, and teach. If we don't have our facts about Jesus straight, then we don't have anything straight at all.


As I toss this around my head, it's honestly a really big encouragement to me to make sure that I'm keeping everything in my life in its proper place, and Jesus absolutely has to come first. I need to be reminding myself of the Gospel as the first thing when I wake up and the last thing when I go to bed, and so often in between. Jesus is the core of my existence, the very thing that makes me who I am and keeps me alive, and if I'm not properly rooted in that, then the rest of my life will be so shaky and so far from the very best that He has for me.


Also, one of my favorite things that I've learned throughout this study so far is about the greeting that Paul uses at the beginning of most, if not all, of his books: "grace and peace to you". "Grace" was a traditional Greek greeting, and "peace" was a traditional Jewish greeting, and by saying "grace and peace to you", he's blending the two cultures in such a beautiful way. It's so symbolic of unity and community, no matter where we've come from, because now we're one through Christ.


Then, in verses 6-10, Paul addresses this false gospel that has been going around the Galatian churches. He warns the early Christians that those teaching this message are trying to pervert who Jesus is and what He's done, but they often do it sneakily. It's a call to be on guard, to hold fast to Jesus and stand firm on the truth, or else we will just as easily fall away from the gospel.


Here is when Paul also reminds the church that we are not to live for approval from man, but from God alone. We live for an audience of one, and that means that the truth won't always make everyone happy, but it doesn't make it any less the truth. We have to cling to Scripture and to the Father, even when it feels like the rest of the world is running after some other gospel, because Jesus is the only way to life and abundant life at that.


For the rest of the chapter, in verses 11-24, Paul begins telling these churches his testimony of how God called him and changed his life. There's two particular verses in this that really captured my attention, but I also want to plug to you that it is so important and valuable to be confident sharing your testimony. Our story is one of the most effective ways that we can tell people about Jesus, and it has the power to change lives. I talk about this more in this post, so I'd really encourage you to check that out!


Within Paul's testimony, he says two things that stole my heart and really stuck out to me. In verses 15-16, he says, "God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me by His grace was pleased to reveal His son in me." WOW! What a beautiful reminder that God chooses us and is so excited to do business with us. He invites us into His ministry, working side by side with Him, and that is such a privilege. The Father wants to use us as a vessel for His love and His very own Son, and that is so hard to wrap my mind around, but it also makes me so, so excited.


Paul also says in verse 21 that "they praised God because of [him]." His testimony was so powerful and so moving that the churches he visited began worshiping God in response to his story. I want to live a life like that, so set apart and devoted to Christ that it makes the people around me moved to turn to Jesus and praise Him. I want to be the type of person who points to Jesus in everything I do, and this verse really refocused me on that mission.


Before we wrap this up, I want to leave you guys with a few application points of what we can take and apply to our lives. Studying Scripture should never be just for head knowledge, but heart and life transformation, and so we need to approach the Bible with so much prayer and conversation with the Father.


  • Create a morning and night routine that centers around Jesus (because Jesus is the foundation of everything that we believe and do)

  • Preach the Gospel to yourself daily (because we have to cling to the truth, standing firm against false gospels)

  • Practice sharing your testimony, whether in the mirror or with your friends (because sharing your story is such a powerful way to tell others about Jesus)

  • Talk to God about how He wants to use you to represent Jesus (because He wants to partner with you in ministry and use you as a vessel)

 

Dear Jesus, thank You so much for what You're teaching us through Galatians 1. Thank You for the reminder to keep You as the foundation of our lives and to live for an audience of 1. I pray that each one of us walking through this journey would take what You have spoken to our hearts and live differently because of it. May we be a reflection of Your love, a vessel of Your character, and a powerful coworker alongside Your mission. Thank You for taking the time to invest in our hearts and work in us so intimately. We love You Lord, and we praise You. Amen!


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