Thoughts for Today:The Galatian people originally came from Gaul, or what we know in the present day as France, and then migrated south to the area of Turkey. Galatia was more of a region, rather than a city. Julius Caesar is reported to have said of the people who populated this area, "They are fickle, fond of change, and not to be trusted." [Jim – Good intro]
Paul's letter to the Galatians was in all probability the first one he wrote. And he personally experienced the inconsistent and erratic behavior of the Galatian people. For example, when he healed a lame man, the Galatians worshipped him as the god Jupiter -- that was in the morning. In the evening of the same day, the same people stoned him and left him for dead outside the city. Why? Because of the rumors started and spread by Paul's enemies (Acts 14). That's a little inconsistent as far as I'm concerned!
Yet Paul had toughness, courage and an unnatural fortitude that could only come from God. He continued to preach and teach the Gospel of God's grace and mercy, regardless of those who came in opposition to him. This is demonstrated nowhere more clearly than in his epistle to the Galatians.
Bible scholars typically separate Galatians into three general sections. The first section is Chapters One and Two, in which Paul describes his personal experience with God's grace. The second section is Chapters Three and Four, where Paul provides specific doctrinal instruction related to grace. And the third section, Chapters Five and Six, gives us the way to practically apply grace in our lives.
Questions to Ponder:How well do you know God's grace? Over the next few weeks we are going to get an in- depth look into how the Apostle Paul saw God's grace revealed from multiple perspectives.