Study Guide

Galatians, Philippians, and Philemon Summary

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Galatians, Philippians, and Philemon Summary


When Paul sits down to put pen to parchment to write to his friends in Galatia, he's not exactly feeling the warm fuzzies for them. Even though Paul founded the church there and explicitly told them everything they ever needed to know about Jesus, the Galatians haven't exactly been toeing the line. It seems some outside agitators have come to town and let everyone know that Christians need to be following Jewish law in order to get in good with Jesus. That means that some of the guys will need to say bye-bye to their foreskins.

But Paul thinks this is a terrible idea. Even though he was born and raised Jewish, he knows that God doesn't want Christians to follow every little bit of Jewish law. And how does he know this? Jesus told him. See, way back when, Paul used to persecute the church. That is, until he saw a vision of Jesus and he immediately started running around telling everyone that Christianity was awesomesauce. It was one convincing vision.

So for real, Galatians. Just ignore those guys. As long as you have Jesus in your heart, it doesn't really matter what you've got going on with your body. The law is slavery. Jesus is freedom. Which are you gonna choose?

Yeah, that's what he thought.


Paul's friends in Philippi? They're another story. These Christians are doing awesome. They're super faithful and humble and all-around amazing. Nice work, everyone! Geez, Paul really wishes he could visit, too, but he's kind of in prison right now. No worries, though. He's more than happy to rough it if it means he's suffering for Jesus.

Paul ends his letter by reminding them to keep the faith and also thanking them for the gift they sent him in the Big House. No, it wasn't a file hidden in a cake, but it was pretty darn thoughtful anyway. Kthxbai!


Finally, Paul sits down to write to his old friend Philemon. He's back in prison again (repeat offender), and he's just met this runaway slave named Onesimus who is super anxious to start following Jesus. Unfortunately, Onesimus is Philemon's runaway slave. Awkward.

Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon while also very strongly suggesting that he not be mad at him. In fact, if Philemon could find it in his heart to release Onesimus from slavery all together, that would be super. No pressure though. It's just what Jesus would do.

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