The law and faith in Christ

Galatians 3(New King James Version)

Justification by Faith

  1. O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth,[a] before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you[b] as crucified?
  2. This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
  3. Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
  4. Have you suffered so many things in vainif indeed it was in vain?
  5. Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3(New Living Translation)

The Law and Faith in Christ

  1. Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ's death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross.
  2. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the Law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ.
  3. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
  4. Have you experienced[a] so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?
  5. I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.

Historical Background

Which places, people or dates are mentioned? Can you relate these to known historical events or people?

This Epistle was written by Paul to the Christians in Galatia. According to historians Galatia also know as ``Gallia`` of the East. Roman writers called the inhabitants Galli. They were made of intermixture of Greeks and Gauls in this way they were called Gallo-Graceci. The Galatians were part of that large Celtic migration which conquered Macedonia about B.C. 280. They cross over to Asia Minor have being invited by King of Bithynia to support him in his wars. They finally settled there and strengthened by the same fresh clan from Europe; they overpower Bithynia, and supported themselves by plundering neighbouring countries. They were great warriors. Finally in B.C. 189 they were bought under the power of Rome and in B.C. 25 became a Roman province. Caesar described the Gaul's as restless and changeable. In Paul's secondary missionary journey accompanied by Silas and Timothy (Acts 16:6), visited the ``region of Galatia`` where sickness kept him there for long and give him the opportunity to preach the Gospel. On his third missionary journey he traveled through ``Galatia and Phrygia`` (Acts 18:23). The Galatia churches were founded by Paul (Gal. 1:8; 4:13, 19; Acts 16:6). They were made of mostly Gentile converts and some Jewish converts. Paul visited the Galatians region twice and the Judaizer only appears there after his last visit. Some New Jewish converts from Judea came after Paul has left encouraging the people to practice circumcision and to keep the Law of Moses in order to be perfect Christians. Paul wrote the Galatians in order to counteract the influence of the Judaizer whom preaches legalism (Ga 5:10 ).He made it clear to them that they are only justify by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and not by the works of law (Ga 3:1-5). He wanted to assert his Apostleship since the Judaizers questioned his apostolic calling. Some scholar's holds the view that this epistle was wrote from Ephesus or Macedonia between 53 and 57 A.D. to North- central Asia Minor churches during his visit in the second missionary journey. Acts records none of this visit. Other school of thought put forward Syrian Antioch to the churches of Antioch, Lytra, Derbe and Iconium in the southern region of Galatia between 48 and 49 A.D were this letter was written. Lastly others hold the view that it was written from Ephesus or Corinth between 51 and 53 A.D.

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