In Galatians 3, Paul begins a series of five arguments for justification by faith. In the first two, Paul argues from experience and from the plain teaching of Scripture.
Paul includes rebuking Peter as part of his defense. Paul could rebuke Peter because they had the same view of the gospel. This incident serves two purposes: 1) it furthers Paul’s claim that he and the apostles teach the same gospel; and 2) it introduces this issue of whether gentile believers must keep the law.
Fourteen years after his conversion, Paul went to Jerusalem to consult with the other apostles. They added nothing to his understanding and gave him the right hand of fellowship.
Paul argues he received his gospel first-hand as a revelation from the risen Lord. His lack of contact with the other apostles proves the divine origin of his understanding.
Paul opens his letter by defending his authority and his gospel. He argues you can recognize the true gospel by its source and its substance.
Paul wrote this letter around 49 AD, about 15 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus to churches he founded during his first missionary journey. After Paul left, the Judaizers began teaching the Galatians they must keep the law to be fully Christian. Paul wrote this letter in response.
In Galatians, Paul argues that you can recognize the gospel by its substance, source and result. Its substance is a full understanding of the cross of Christ. Its source is divine revelation. Its result is freedom from bondage to sin.
Paul closes with with three directives regarding work: 1) follow Paul’s example of being willing to support himself; 2) work to meet your own needs; and 3) stop enabling those who won’t work.
Paul reassures the Thessalonians that Christ has not returned because certain events must happen first. But they can take comfort that Christ will return to bring both justice and salvation for those who believe.
Paul encourages a suffering church by reminding them of the certainty of God’s justice and judgment. One day their suffering will end. But more importantly their faithful response through suffering is evidence that they will inherit a place in the kingdom of God.