Acts 16:4-6 "Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe.5 So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily. 6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia."
Galatians - written to defend and declare the Gospel
We will most likely get more directly into Galatians in tomorrow's post, however these words from Bible teacher Dr. Woodrow Kroll summarize why Paul wrote this first of his letters: "But despite Paul's repeated presence, from His letter to the Galatians it is evident that the believers there were losing their joy to the pressures of legalism. Legalism is when Christians revert to keeping the Law rather than living by grace. A group of Jewish teachers had passed through Galatia insisting that non-Jewish believers must obey Jewish Law and keep the traditional rules. But we cannot be saved by keeping the Law. We are saved by God's grace and must live by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-10).1
Paul's labor in those cities of Galatia that he preached through and revisited in Acts 13-14 required scripture that dealt specifically with the siren call to rely more upon legalism than the Gospel. Even with an Apostolic letter coming from a major church council in Acts 15, the churches needed the Word. Thus with all these factors in play, Paul by inspiration of the Holy Ghost penned Galatians. We will close with a brief outline of the book and explore it in more detail tomorrow. My hope is that you have seen today the value of studying Acts and epistles like Galatians together. We are all, after all, called to declare and defend the Gospel.
1. Woodrow Kroll. Places in the Bible. Country man. Nashville. 2005. Page 123.