Glancing at Galatians 1–The Purpose of the Book

Posted on August 13, 2011


What is the major purpose of the book of Galatians? Galatians is an apologetic work by Paul to defend the doctrine that we are saved by grace alone. In this little book, Paul demolishes the legalistic views of some of the Jews that were in the Galatian church. Paul asserts that salvation is by grace and grace alone, and makes the point that we cannot add to the work of salvation.

In the church at Galatia, some of the Jews were harassing the gentile Christians. They were pushing the gentiles to follow Jewish laws and tradition. These Jews believed that you had to follow Jewish customs, such as circumcision, in order to be saved. Paul became aware of these teachings, and knew that they were contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Knowing that Jesus’ death paid the entire price for our sin, Paul wrote this letter to set the record straight. Paul did what he had spent much of his Christian life doing, corrected false teachings. The Gentile believers in Galatia needed to know that the blood of Jesus sufficiently covered their salvation, and there was nothing else for them to do. They were not required to become Jews in order to be saved. Paul wrote this letter so that the Gentile believers would not be lead astray by false teachings, so they could place their trust entirely in Christ, not in their own works.

Paul’s ultimate purpose in this letter was to stress salvation by grace. He wanted them all to understand that salvation does not come from our works, and we cannot earn God’s favor. Paul stressed that we cannot add anything to the work of Jesus Christ. Paul therefore, wrote this letter in order to stress those points.

Posted in: Commentary