(A leader’s letter to some new Christians)
A series of 15 Bible studies in EasyEnglish
Written by Anne Adamson
Checked by Ruth Lloyd-Smith
These are good guides for a group of *people who are studying the Bible.
There are also ideas for what to do, and the meaning of some difficult words.
About the book of Galatians
Paul wrote this letter to the Christians who lived in Galatia. Galatia was a part of the country that we call Turkey now. The *people who lived there were called Galatians.
Paul was a *Jew. And he was a *Jewish leader. Before this, he had obeyed all the *Jewish rules. He had hated Christians. He would not allow Christians to tell other *people about Christ. Then he met Christ himself, and his life changed. (You can read how Paul became a Christian in Acts 9.)
When Paul went to Galatia, he told the Galatians about Christ. They were happy to hear this. Many *people became Christians. Many of these new Christians were *Gentiles. They did not obey all the *Jewish rules.
Then some other *Jewish teachers went to Galatia. They spoke against Paul. They said that the Christians in Galatia must obey the *Jewish rules. This was not right. Some of the new Christians listened to these wrong teachers.
Paul writes this letter to teach the Galatians the truth again. God had sent Paul to Galatia, and Paul had received the true message from God. The first Christians were *Jews. They obeyed all the *Jewish rules. Some of the new Christians in Galatia were *Gentiles. They did not need to obey all the *Jewish rules.
Before this Paul himself had obeyed all the *Jewish rules. So this wrong idea mattered very much to him. This subject was a problem in other places too. The whole of the *church in the first century had to decide what they should do. You can read about this in Acts 15. Paul’s letter to the Christians in Galatia is almost all about this subject. So perhaps he wrote just before the event of Acts 15.
- Paul begins his letter (Galatians 1:1-5)
- The Christians in Galatia are listening to wrong ideas (Galatians 1:6-10)
- Paul’s message is from God (Galatians 1:11-24)
- The other special workers accept Paul (Galatians 2:1-10)
- Paul is angry with Peter at Antioch (Galatians 2:11-22)
- We become right with God only because we believe him (Galatians 3:1-14)
- The Jews’ rules are different from God’s promise (Galatians 3:15-20)
- The purpose of the rules that God gave to Israel’s people (Galatians 3:21-25)
- Sons of God – Paul explains about sons (Galatians 3:26-4:7)
- The Christians in Galatia might not continue to believe in Christ (Galatians 4:8-20)
- Hagar and Sarah (Galatians 4:21-31)
- Continue to have a free life in Christ (Galatians 5:1-15)
- Live with God’s Spirit in you (Galatians 5:16-26)
- Be kind and good to each other (Galatians 6:1-10)
- Paul’s last words to the Galatians (Galatians:6:11-18)
Words to explain
Abraham ~ the first leader of the Jews.
church ~ a group of Christians in one place. The Christians in Galatia were the church in Galatia. We might also mean all Christians everywhere, as here.
Gentile ~ a person who does not belong to *Israel’s *people.
hate ~ to strongly or completely not like something or someone. To hate is the opposite of when you love something or someone.
Israel ~ the country where the *Jews lived.
Jew ~ a person who is born from *Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children (*Israel’s *people).
Jewish ~ what belongs to a Jew.
people ~ men and women.
Spirit ~ God’s power in the world and in our lives.
study ~ words that help us to learn more about something.
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