How to Read Galatians

How to Read Galatians

Growing up in a poor neighborhood under the flight path next to the airport and needing to make some money, I did something I shouldn’t have. Despite being just 15 years of age, I falsified my birth certificate on an old typewriter and got a job as a clerk at a convenience store down the street from an adult entertainment establishment. When I started the job, an older woman who had been a cashier for decades trained me. She explained that because of the shady neighborhood, we would be checking a lot of identification for such things as beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets. We also would be handling a lot of cash. But it was apparently very common for minors to use fake identification and shoppers to use counterfeit cash. When I asked the woman training me how I could prevent selling to minors (even though I was a minor which was odd) or taking counterfeit currency she said, “the key is to get so used to the real thing that you can simply tell a fake when you handle it.”  

She was right. At first, it was hard to discern the real versus the counterfeit. But it wasn’t very long before I could pretty easily tell the difference. 

Anything valuable gets counterfeited. From forged autographs, to knock-off sneakers, and phony money, counterfeits are common. What is true physically is also true spiritually.  

Did you know that not only is God at work in your life right now…but so is Satan?

Since nothing is as valuable as your relationship with God, it is not surprising that whatever God creates, Satan counterfeits. You can learn to discern between religious fakes and real faith as we study a book of the Bible called Galatians. 

Reading Galatians 

You can start by reading and re-reading Galatians in your Bible, or on the YouVersion Bible App, which has multiple translations and the Bible in audio format to listen to at your convenience. You can read the entire book of 149 verses in roughly 20 minutes. As you do, start to look for the thing that God creates and Satan counterfeits. Here are some examples to look for as overarching themes in the book:

Keywords in Galatians

 As you read and re-read Galatians, here are some key words that appear frequently. It may be helpful to highlight or otherwise note the times they occur to start seeing major themes of the book. The number of occurrences will vary depending upon which English translation of the Bible you read: 

Works including works of the law, works of the flesh (7X)

Christ (38X)
Law (32X)
Faith/Believe (22X)
Son & Seed (18X)
Spirit (17X)
Flesh/Sinful Nature (16X)
Circumcision/Circumcise (13X)
Slave/Slavery/Enslave (11X)
Free & Freedom (10X)
Gentiles (10X)
Promise (10X)
Abraham (9X)
Grace (8X)
ustify/Justified (8X)
Works including works of the law, works of the flesh (7X)

Pick a time this week to sit down and read Galatians in one sitting. 


Mark Driscoll
hello@markdriscoll.org

Pastor Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor. He’s grateful to be a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody. Read More