Study Guide

Galatians, Philippians, and Philemon Galatians: Chapter 1

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Galatians: Chapter 1

Hello, My Name Is Paul

  • Greetings from Paul! He's an apostle sent by God, and he's totally ready to rock this whole disciple of Christ thing.
  • This time he's writing to the churches in Galatia, but he's not too thrilled with what's been going on there. Oh, do tell, Paul.
  • Well, it seems some of the Galatians have been turning their backs on God and putting their faith in a twisted version of the gospel. Say it ain't so, Galatians!
  • Let Paul be clear: there's only one gospel. It's the one Paul told them about. Duh.
  • Just because someone comes along and starts spouting off all kinds of random ideas about Jesus, that doesn't make them true.
  • Even an angel from Heaven who teaches them the wrong things about Jesus is gonna get a smackdown from God.
  • This goes double for any humans trying to pervert God's message about Jesus. Seriously, naysayers, God is not amused.
  • Look guys, Paul's not trying to win any popularity contests here. He's just doing what the Big Guy told him.
  • After all, Paul didn't get his info from just anywhere—he got it from Jesus Christ himself.

Time for a Little Backstory

  • Paul is pretty sure the Galatians know about his past. But he's gonna tell them again anyhow. Just once more for good measure.
  • Back in the day, Paul was a super devout Jew who persecuted Christians on the side. Uh-huh.
  • He's was über pious and totally loved Jewish law—even more than most other Jews—but when God sent him a vision of Jesus, everything changed.
  • He started preaching the good news about Jesus right away. He didn't high tail it to Jerusalem to meet with Jesus's disciples there. He went out on his own and spread the good word. Paul's a rebel like that.
  • Three years after his conversion, he did take a quick trip to Jerusalem, but he only met with Cephas (a.k.a. Simon Peter, Jesus's right-hand man from all the gospels) and James (Jesus's brother). 
  • But that was it. No else in Jerusalem saw him. Plus, he only stayed there for fifteen days. So really, the trip was no big deal.
  • If the Christians in Jerusalem had to pick him out of a lineup, they wouldn't have been able to do it. All they knew about Paul was that he used to spend his free time watching Christians get executed and now he's out praising Jesus.

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