From Trials to Triumph


Chapter 36—Paul's Timeless Letter to the Galatians

This chapter is based on the Letter to the Galatians, RSV.

Through the influence of false teachers, heresy and sensualism were gaining ground among the believers in Galatia. These false teachers were mingling Jewish traditions with the truths of the gospel. The evils introduced threatened to destroy the Galatian churches. TT 200.1

Paul was cut to the heart. He immediately wrote to the deluded believers, exposing the false theories that they had accepted. TT 200.2

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel—not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed.” The Holy Spirit had witnessed to his labors; therefore he warned his brethren not to listen to anything that contradicted the truths he had taught. TT 200.3

“O foolish Galatians!” he exclaimed, “Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?” Refusing to recognize the doctrines of the apostate teachers, the apostle endeavored to lead the converts to see that they had been grossly deceived, but that by returning to their former faith in the gospel they might yet defeat the purpose of Satan. His supreme confidence in the message he bore helped many whose faith had failed, to return to the Saviour. TT 200.4

How different from Paul's manner of writing to the Corinthian church! The Corinthians he rebuked with tenderness; the Galatians, with words of unsparing reproof. To teach the Corinthians to distinguish the false from the true called for caution and patience. In the Galatian churches, open, unmasked error was supplanting the gospel. Christ was virtually renounced for the ceremonies of Judaism. The apostle saw that if the believers were to be saved from the dangerous influences which threatened them, decisive measures must be taken. TT 201.1