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General Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons of the Book


The Potential Crises of the Truth of the Gospel

  1. The false believers premeditated to change the gospel (Gal. 1:7).

  2. The true preacher of the gospel may change (Gal. 1:8).

  3. Men may compromise in order to please men (Gal. 1:10).

  4. The false brothers watched for their chance to deceive others (Gal. 2:4).

  5. The true apostles did not dare to practice the truth because they feared men (Gal. 2:12-13).


How to Know the False Teachers

  1. Their motives:

a. they wanted to please men (Gal. 1:10).

b. they wanted to bring believers into bondage (Gal. 2:4).

c. they were not for good and wanted to exclude believers (Gal. 4:17).

d. they wanted believers to be zealous for them (Gal. 4:17).

e. they hindered believers from obeying the truth (Gal. 5:7).

f. they desired to make a good showing in the flesh (Gal. 6:12).

  2. Their actions:

a. they troubled the church (Gal. 1:7; 5:10).

b. they changed the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:7).

c. they secretly brought in and came in by stealth to spy out the liberty of believers in Christ Jesus (Gal. 2:4).

d. they persecuted those who strictly kept the truth (Gal. 4:29; 5:11).

f. they boasted in the flesh (Gal. 6:13).


The Way of Justification

  1. It is not by the works of the law (Gal. 2:16, 21; 3:11; 4:4).

  2. But by faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:16; 3:8, 24).

  3. In Christ (Gal. 2:17).


In Christ

  1. The way to be in Christ:

a. faith (Gal. 2:16; 5:6).

b. Being baptized into (Gal. 3:27).

  2. What we receive in Christ:

a. justification (Gal. 2:17).

b. liberty (Gal. 2:4).

c. putting on Christ (Gal. 3:27).

d. believers are all one (Gal. 3:28).


The Way of Living

  1. Though men shall live by the works of the law (Gal. 3:12), men cannot keep the whole law (Gal. 5:3).

  2. Only when I died to the law will I live to God (Gal. 2:19).

  3. Only when I have been crucified with Christ will Christ live in me (Gal. 2:20).

  4. The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God (Gal. 2:20).


The Proofs that Men Are Justified by Faith instead of the Works

  1. It is proved by the experiences of believers (Gal. 3:1-5).

  2. It is proved by the records in the Bible (Gal. 3:6-14).

  3. It is proved by God’s covenant of promise (Gal. 3:15-18).

  4. It is proved by that the law cannot make men live (Gal. 3:19-22).

  5. It is proved by what faith has accomplished (Gal. 3:23-29).

  6. It is proved by that God sent forth His Son when the fullness of the time had come (Gal. 4:1-7).


The Sonship

  1. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:26).

  2. We are redeemed to receive the adoption as sons (Gal. 4:5).

  3. We have the Spirit of His Son and cry out, "Abba, Father!" (Gal. 4:6).

  4. We are heirs of God through Christ and could inherit the possessions (Gal. 4:7).


The Liberty in Christ

  1. Being free from keeping the regulations and ceremonies under the law (Gal. 3:23-25; 4:1-7, 9, 21-31).

  2. Being free from the curse and condemnation of the law (Gal. 3:13; See Rom. 5:1; Heb. 10:27).

  3. Being free from the bondage of false idols and Satan (Gal. 4:8).

  4. Being free from the constraint of sins and the hopeless in overcoming sin (Gal. 3:21-22; See Rom. 6:16-18; 8:2-3).


Believers and the Spirit

  1. Believers receive the Spirit by faith (Gal. 3:2, 5, 14).

  2. The working of the Spirit in men:

a. He makes men be born again (Gal. 4:29; 5:25).

b. He leads men to begin (Gal. 3:3).

c. He makes men cry out, "Abba, Father!" (Gal. 4:6).

d. He leads men to walk (Gal. 5:16, 18, 25).

e. He is against the flesh (Gal. 5:17).

f. He bears the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

  3. Through the Spirit eagerly believers wait for the hope of righteousness (Gal. 5:5).

  4. He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life (Gal. 6:8).


The Five Exhortations of Justification by Faith

  1. Do not turn to be slaves (Gal. 4:8-11).

  2. Be zealous in receiving the servants of Christ (Gal. 4:12-20).

  3. Hear the true meaning of the law (Gal. 4:21-31).

  4. Stand firm in the liberty of Christ (Gal. 5:1-6).

  5. Obey the truth (Gal. 5:7-12).


Believers and Circumcision

  1. If a believer is circumcised: 

a. Christ will profit him nothing (Gal. 5:2).

b. he is a debtor to keep the whole law (Gal. 5:3).

c. he has become estranged from Christ (Gal. 5:4).

d. he has fallen from grace (Gal 5:4).

  2. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision:

a. avails anything, but faith working through love (Gal. 5:6).

b. avails anything, but a new creation (Gal. 6:15).

  3. The reason why they preach circumcision:

a. they are afraid of suffering persecution (Gal. 5:11; 6:12).

b. they desire to make a good showing in the flesh (Gal. 6:12).

c. they may boast in others’ flesh (Gal. 6:13).


Believers and the Law

  1. Believers have broke off the relation with the law:

a. we died to the law (Gal. 2:19).

b. we have been redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13).

c. we are not under the law (Gal. 5:18).

d. we are not in the bondage of the law (Gal. 4:9; 5:1).

  2. The law that believers should keep:

a. the law of love (Gal. 5:13-14).

b. the law in the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

c. the law of Christ (Gal. 6:1-2).


The Principle of Believers’ Walkings

  1. Walk in love (Gal. 5:13-15).

  2. Walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-25).

  3. Walk in the law of Christ (Gal. 6:1-10).

  4. Walk by the cross of Christ (Gal. 6:11-18).


Believers and the Flesh

  1. Do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh (Gal. 5:13).

  2. The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another (Gal. 5:17).

  3. The works of the flesh are evident (Gal. 5:19-21).

  4. He who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption (Gal. 6:8).

  5. How to not fulfill the lust of the flesh:

a. walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16).

b. have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal. 5:24).


How to Deal with Each other among Believers

  1. But through love serve one another (Gal. 5:13).

  2. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another (Gal. 5:26).

  3. Restore a man who sins in a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1).

  4. Bear one another's burdens (Gal. 6:2).

  5. Share in all good things with him who teaches (Gal. 6:6).

  6. As we have opportunity, let us do good to those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10).


Believers and the Cross

  1. I have been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).

  2. Before their eyes Jesus Christ is clearly portrayed among them as crucified (Gal. 3:1).

  3. Christ hang on a tree, having become a curse for us (Gal. 3:13).

  4. The cross is disliked by men (Gal. 5:11).

  5. We have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal. 5:24).

  6. We are not afraid of suffering persecution for the cross of Christ (Gal. 6:12).

  7. Boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 6:14).

  8. The world has been crucified to me (Gal. 6:14).

  9. I have been crucified to the world (Gal. 6:14).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren