Dead to the Law: Studies in Galatians – Lesson 1 (1:1-5)

Galatians 1:1-5

1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


  • Paul’s apostleship originated from God the Father and Jesus Christ (vs. 1; cf. Acts 9).  It is by the authority of God that His servants are sent into this world to do His will.
  • God the Father raised Jesus from the dead (vs. 1; cf. Acts 4:10; Rom. 10:9).  According to Romans 8:11 and 1 Peter 3:18, the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead.  According to John 2:19-20 and John 10:17-18, Jesus raised Himself from the dead.   This is a strong proof of a triune God. 
  • Paul wrote to the “churches of Galatia” (vs. 2).  There were multiple local churches in the region of Galatia. 
  • Grace and peace are strongly related (vs. 3). 
  • Jesus “gave himself for our sins” (vs. 4).  This is substitutionary atonement, meaning that Jesus took our penalty so that we might be justified (declared righteous).
  • Jesus did this so He “might deliver us from this present evil world” (vs. 4).  This has applications both now and in the future.  Note the word “might”.  In the Greek, the verb is in the subjunctive mood, which denotes possibility.  Jesus wants us to conform more to His character and will (as opposed to following the world’s system) in this present life (sanctification).  He also will completely deliver us from this evil world in the future (glorification).  
  • People often ask what God’s will is.  Verse 4 tell us that deliverance from this evil world is part of His will for us.
  • God deserves eternal glory (vs. 5).  We must remember to give Him glory through or lives because of what He did for us in the person of Jesus Christ.

Ideas for Teaching/Preaching/Personal Study

  • How did God call others to do His will in the Bible?  Compare can contrast individuals who received a call from God (Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, the disciples, Paul, etc.). 
  • Study a map of Asia Minor during the time of Paul’s ministry (there may be a map like this in the back of your Bible).  Locate the cities that were in Galatia where possible churches may have been.  Research these cities using a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia to see what commonalities they may have had.
  • The words “grace” and “peace” are found in the same verse 18 times in the Bible (KJV).  Locate these using a concordance or Bible software.  Note where the verses normally appear in relation to the rest of that book.  Why were these words used in this way? 
  • List ways that grace (unmerited favor) and peace (serenity, lack of hostility) are related (use a Bible dictionary).  Is one dependent on the other or are they interrelated? 
  • Develop a sermon/lesson outline using the 3 parts of verse 4: (1) who gave himself for our sins, (2) that he might deliver us from this present evil world, (3) according to the will of God and our Father.  Develop a title that expresses a unifying theme.
  • Find other passages that speak of giving God glory.  Examine the contexts.  What themes do you find in each?  What relationships do they have to each other?