At the end of any Bible book study, it’s helpful to summarize once again the main points of each chapter.
I recommend that you let the Witnesses go first.
Go chapter by chapter and alternate sharing what you’ve learned.
When it’s your turn, note that nowhere in the book did Paul mention God’s kingdom or the name “Jehovah.”
Instead, here are points you can summarize from each chapter.
- Paul got his gospel message from Jesus Christ himself
- This gospel message centers on God’s grace and on Christ’s sacrificial death to pay the penalty for our sins.
- An example of this grace is God choosing Paul to be an apostle while Paul was persecuting Christians and proclaiming obeying the Jewish law and traditions as the way to be right with God.
- False teachers were proclaiming a false gospel to the Galatians, a gospel this was somehow opposed to Paul’s message of grace.
- So far in Galatians, Paul hasn’t mentioned God’s kingdom or the name “Jehovah.”
- Paul says that the gospel of salvation by keeping the law is opposed to his gospel of salvation by grace
- So far, in discussing his gospel, Paul still hasn’t mentioned God’s kingdom or the name “Jehovah.”
- God’s promise is superior to God’s law
- God’s law was not given to make us righteous
- God’s law was given to show us our unrighteousness and hopelessness
- God’s law is fulfilled when it has served its purpose by bringing us to saving faith in Christ
- Saving faith in Christ involves a transformation by God’s Spirit in which our identity is changed from sinner to son.
Paul is not against having standards and following them. Rather, the problems with legalism are:
- Thinking that we are spiritual because we “keep the rules”
- Judging other people on the basis of those standards
- Christian maturity is not measured by rule keeping
- Christian maturity comes from relying on grace, faith, and the Holy Spirit rather than on our own efforts to be righteous and on enforcement systems
- Paul wasn’t opposed to lawful behavior. What Paul opposed was trying to be made righteous by following laws. That was a denial of Christ and of the sufficiency of his sacrifice.
- Legalists are always trying to get people to compare themselves with one another. This either makes them proud or envious.
- Trying to make ourselves righteous through self-effort is the opposite of relying on the Holy Spirit to produce God’s righteousness in us.
- Spiritual people try to restore wayward ones gently rather than condemning them
- When we live by grace, we have no need to compare ourselves with others
- Like Paul, true Christians are “persecuted for the torture stake”
- Like Paul, true Christians “boast… in the torture stake”
- Nowhere in discussing the gospel message in the book of Galatians did Paul mention either God’s kingdom or the name “Jehovah.