Paul’s epistle to the newly founded Galatian churches was penned to them about AD 50, and was about ‘the truth of the Gospel,’ found in 2:5+14. What is the truth of the Gospel? It’s about how people are truly saved from the just penalty of their sins. Is salvation by God’s free gift, or must we somehow earn it with good works? What is the truth of the Gospel? We’ll examine the first 2 chapters by looking for The 10 Essential Elements of the Real New Testament Message!
From Chapter 1, Paul opens with the #5, Gospel element of Christ’s resurrection. With verse 4, he states that it came about because #4, the Savior, Christ #5, gave Himself in death for our #2, sins, so that He might rescue us; that being our salvation, and #8, the New Birth! We further see the matter of #2, sin with the perversion of the Gospel, to a no-gospel, in verses 6 thru 9, and his pronouncement of #3, eternal condemnation upon those who propose that no-gospel in verses 8 and 9. Then, with verse 10, we find that #9, New Life teaching to live to please God, rather than men. The remainder of the chapter then tells of how Paul actually #2, sinned by seeking to establish his own righteousness, but that he learned that real #1, righteousness was God’s Son in him! So it is with all of us who truly believe on Jesus! Christ is our righteousness!!!
With chapter 2, we learn precisely what ‘the truth of the Gospel is.’ Verse 2 tells us this chapter is about Paul’s #5, Gospel message. Was it correct? Did it save? He relates ‘working’ for one’s salvation, in this case by circumcision v.3+12, as that #2, sin that he was #3, damning in chapter 1. The ‘truth of the Gospel’ is that we are free of works, whereas those who are trying to earn it are slaves says verses 3 thru 5; just as he was previously in 1:13+14. He then relates the difference between the two, speaking of a time with Peter beginning at verse 11. Peter #2, sinned and Paul rebuked him. It was all over ‘the truth of the Gospel.’ Must a new believer now live as a Jew, being circumcised and keeping the Law of Moses in order to be saved, as Peter had reverted backed into? Verses 15 thru 21 are loaded! Man is not #8, saved by observing the law, but by #7, faith in Jesus Christ, verses 15 and 16. A fine theological point is made for the very first time; we were #5, crucified with Christ verse 20, because thru the law we died to the law verse 19. We no longer live, but Christ lives in us verse 20… He is our #1, righteousness. We are to now #9, New Life live by faith in the Son of God, Who, as #4, the Savior, gave Himself for us verse 20. God’s salvation is His #1, righteousness to us is a free gift of grace, gained only thru Christ’s #5, Gospel element of His death for us says verse 21! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell