What can happen when one applies it in daily life? What is the relationship between justification and faith? As with other epistles, Paul appears to have been assisted by a scribe in writing Galatians. Paul visited the Galatian churches on his second and third missionary journeys see Acts ; Paul likely wrote his Epistle to the Galatians while traveling through Macedonia during his third missionary journey, about A.
Circumcision vs. a 'New Creation' in Christ
There are some commentators, however, who believe that the events recorded in Galatians —10 happened before the Jerusalem conference held in A. Galatia was a region in north-central Asia Minor, whose population had immigrated from western Europe modern France , where they had been known as Gauls.
Paul visited cities in Galatia on his second and third missionary journeys. Some Galatian Saints had embraced the teachings of these people see Galatians To persuade the Galatians to return to the true gospel, Paul related his own conversion story, appealed to the example of Abraham, and cited other support from the Old Testament. Paul stated that he was writing to the Galatian Saints because they had strayed from the Lord and embraced false teachings.
He defended his calling as an Apostle by recounting his initial opposition to the Church and his conversion, by emphasizing that he received revelation directly from God, and by clarifying that his ministry to the Gentiles had been approved by the Apostles. He stated that he had once disagreed with Peter concerning the Gentile Saints. Paul defended the gospel message. He taught that Abraham was an example of a person who was justified by faith and not by the works of the law of Moses. Through the Atonement, Jesus Christ redeemed mankind from the curse of the law.
Paul set forth the characteristics of one who lives a carnal, or fleshly, existence as opposed to the attributes of one who possesses the Holy Ghost.
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We reap what we sow. Paul reproved the Saints in Galatia for embracing the falsehood that Gentile Saints had to observe the rituals of the law of Moses see Galatians —7 ; —3 ; —4 ; ; see also Acts — He defended his calling as an Apostle by declaring that he taught the true gospel of Jesus Christ, that he had received revelation from God, and that his ministry to the Gentiles had been approved by the Apostles in Jerusalem see Galatians , 11—24 ; —9.
Paul called upon the Saints to live by the Spirit and to stand fast in the liberty of the gospel see Galatians — His Epistle to the Galatians lacks any expressions of thanksgiving or praise; rather, Paul immediately confronted the Galatian Saints with the charge of following false teachers see Galatians —7 ; And in the case of the Galatians, the problem is apostasy. These Galatians are Gentile converts.
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They are now being contaminated by Jewish-Christians who tell them they must also be circumcised and live the law of Moses to be saved. By that, I mean some who profess membership in this church who are not sparing the flock. And among our own membership, men are arising speaking perverse things. Now perverse means diverting from the right or correct, and being obstinate in the wrong, willfully, in order to draw the weak and unwary members of the Church away after them.
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If an angel comes to divert people away from this gospel see Alma , then that angel should be ignored. But scripture shows that several angels came to restore the fulness of the gospel, as is the case with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints see Revelation Galatians records a journey Paul took to Jerusalem to meet with Church leaders, and Titus traveled with him.
Titus, who was a Greek, did not have to be circumcised, although some Judaizers wanted all Gentiles to be circumcised in order to continue to obey the rituals of the law of Moses.
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In order to emphasize to the Gentile converts in Galatia that they did not need to be circumcised, Paul recounted a confrontation with Peter, the chief Apostle. While there, Peter began to dine with the Gentile Saints, but he stopped doing so when a group of Jewish Christians arrived from Jerusalem. He feared that the visitors would find his association with the Gentile Saints offensive see Galatians In many cultures of the ancient world, including the Jewish culture, dining with others affirmed a bond of fellowship and loyalty see Mark —16 ; Acts To some Jewish Christians, the cultural tradition of maintaining separation from Gentiles was more important than the Christian bond they shared with Gentile Saints.
This was unacceptable to Paul. The Jewish Christians, on the one hand, did not appreciate the reluctance of some Gentiles to submit to the regulations of the Mosaic law, especially circumcision. Paul and his followers, on the other hand, were not worried about offending the feelings of the Jewish Christians who still held fast to the traditions of the law of Moses. Peter the prophet, naturally, loved and was concerned about both Jewish and Gentile members of the Church. If he continued eating with the Gentiles, he would offend the visiting group of Jewish Christians.
If he departed, he would offend Paul and the Gentile Christians in Antioch. No compromise was possible.
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Either way, he was going to hurt some feelings. Judd Jr. Paul was a participant in that conference, and he later shared the decision of that conference with those to whom he ministered see Acts ; Since Paul made no mention of the conference or the letters describing the decision to take the gospel to the Gentiles, some experts believe that the experience described in Galatians —21 occurred prior to the Jerusalem conference.
Paul identified the essential truth that made clear why the Gentile Saints should not be excluded from dining with Jewish Saints.
Both groups were justified pardoned from punishment for sin by placing their faith in Jesus Christ, not by performing the works of the law of Moses. Peter himself expressed a similar view at the Jerusalem council see Acts — Often when we speak of justification we also speak about sanctification. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained how these doctrines are related but also separate:. Yet glorious as the remission of sins is, the Atonement accomplishes even more.
Galatians has sometimes been misunderstood to mean that salvation results only from our faith in Jesus Christ and that works of righteousness are not necessary for salvation. It is important to understand this verse in context. Could that familiar expression mean that the sum total of our own righteousness will win us salvation and exaltation? Could some of us believe that our heavenly parentage and our divine destiny allow us to pass through mortality and attain eternal life solely on our own merits?
We can forget that keeping the commandments, which is necessary, is not sufficient. Though Paul apparently still followed certain practices of the law of Moses see Acts —3 ; ; , it was no longer the basis for his relationship with God, and its practices were not required for exaltation. His faith in Jesus Christ had transformed his life so completely that he described his old life as dead and declared that he was living a new life in Christ see Galatians — Backman of the Seventy explained that it is through total surrender to the Savior that we find the new life He has for us:.
Lewis captured the spirit of this surrender:. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. Put away the evil of your doings; cease to do evil, Isa. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions, Ezek. Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, Matt.
There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, Luke The Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent has wrought a mighty change in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, Mosiah If he confess his sins and repent, him shall ye forgive, Mosiah Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance, Alma Alma taught Helaman of his repentance and conversion, Alma 36 Mosiah —