The book of Galatians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Galatia, many who he personally led to the faith. As you read his letter, you’re going to see how passionate he is, even indignant, but why? The Christians who believed when Paul was with them, were now believing something else. Their false beliefs were subtle enough that while they were losing their faith in Jesus, they believed they were becoming “better” Christians. That’s why Paul has to be passionate and direct with them.
This letter was written 15 or 20 years after Jesus had resurrected, so these are early Christians, but their struggle is not an ancient problem. I would even argue it may be more of a problem now than it’s ever been. It’s never been easier to believe that better behavior makes you a better Christian, that Christianity is defined by what you do and don’t do.
If you had to sum it up in one word, Galatians is a book about the Gospel. Paul wrote a whole letter reteaching the gospel to people who had already received it and believed it but were abandoning it. This is an important but overlooked part of Galatians: It was written to Christians not sinners.
Often Christians believe that the Gospel message is an introduction to Christianity–something to convert sinners, but then you move on to the more important “deep” stuff. Galatians teaches that the Gospel isn’t something just sinners need to hear, it’s something Christians need to hear too. The Gospel is the important stuff.
So what is the Gospel that Paul is so passionate about? You are more sinful than you ever know but more loved than you know too. It’s the message that you are too wicked to solve your sin problem, so God sent Jesus to pay the penalty for your sin, and give you access to God.
We don’t just need to hear this message and believe it one time, we need to keep believing it because it’s the Gospel that has the power to transform our lives. If we ever move away from the Gospel message in an attempt to go “deeper” we run the risk of believing a false gospel. That’s what happened to the Galatians, and Paul is going to point out their false beliefs and remind them of the truth.
Why is it important to keep hearing and believing the Gospel message even after you become a Christian?