Getting Started with Galatians 1
Begin with prayer: Ask God to make your heart pure, soft, and undivided. Confess your sins so you can receive his mercy and grace. Humble yourself so you can hear his voice. Release your worries so you can rest in his presence.
First read: read without pausing, to get an overall sense of the chapter.
Second read: make a note of any words, phrases, or verses that are personally encouraging, convicting, and/or confusing. It is a good thing to approach Scripture with questions!
Re-read 1:1-5, out loud if possible.
In just a few words, Paul sets the tone for his letter to the Galatian churches. What does his introduction say specifically about Paul? God the Father? Jesus?
God the Father:
In your own words, how would you describe Paul’s tone and feeling?
According to this passage, what were the core issues or problems facing Paul’s audience? Why was Paul “astonished?” What are the specific words from the text that support your answer?
In your opinion, was Paul too harsh? Why or why not?
In this passage, Paul talks about the gospel, but he doesn’t yet define it for us. In your opinion, based on what you’ve already learned, how would you define the gospel in a single sentence?
For Paul’s original audience, the ancient church was “quickly deserting” Jesus and turning to a different gospel. In our world, what are some things that move people away from Jesus? In your opinion, what are some false messages about Jesus?
Have you ever been “like Paul,” meaning, do you know someone who has wandered from Jesus? What happened? Do you think God might use you to encourage that person? If so, how?
Have you ever been “like Paul’s audience,” meaning that you have wandered from what you know to be true about Jesus? What happened? How were you pulled away? What did you do to return? (Or, what could it look like for you to return?)
In this passage, Paul talks a lot about his life: before Christ, his calling, and his ministry. Compile a list of facts about Paul’s life, as if you were making a biography.
Based on your study of this passage, what is the primary theme about Paul and the Gospel?
In the last section, you wrote a definition for the word, “gospel.” Is there anything in this passage which would enhance or change your definition?
Why is it important that the gospel is “not of human origin?” Why is this teaching personally significant?
Paul’s confidence was grounded in the fact that his calling was from God. His goal was to please God and not people. Based on your experience, why do so many people work for the approval of other people? In your opinion, why to we, the human race, care so much about what others think?
Before Paul knew Jesus, he worked hard to destroy the church. After coming to faith in Jesus, Paul spent his entire life building up the church. In your own life, what kinds of changed have you seen? What transformation has happened because of your faith in Jesus?