In the EP Study Commentary series, Peter Barnes takes us through Galatians – Paul’s most fiercely worded epistle. The problem in the churches in Galatia was that they had heard the gospel from the great apostle Paul, but then proceeded to modify it. The introduction contains a helpful, and necessary, section on The New Perspective. A little poison in the cup may be all that is needed for the cup to be toxic. To be specific, the Galatians began to listen to the Judaizers who were telling them that they needed to be circumcised, keep the Jewish holy days, and, by implication, maintain Jewish food laws which prevented them from eating with Gentiles. It is well known that the epistle to the Galatians played a highly significant role in the sixteenth-century Reformation, and Martin Luther was to refer to it as ‘my own Epistle, to which I have plighted my troth…’ He thought that ‘This doctrine can never be taught, urged, and repeated enough.’ Galatians takes us to the very heart and core of the message of God to us in Jesus Christ. Ultimately, its message is simplicity itself: law condemns, Jesus saves. This is a message which the modern evangelical world needs to hear in a new and fresh way.
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