Starting in January, I’ll be teaching through the books of Galatians and Romans in my adult Sunday School class at my church. This post is an expanded version of a blurb I wrote about the class for a church bulletin.
Paul’s letters to the Galatians and the Romans focus on the essential core of the gospel message—salvation as justification by faith alone. In Galatians, Paul describes the believer’s new life in Christ as a result of our co-crucifixion on the cross of our loving savior Christ:
Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (ESV)
Romans expands this theme, giving us a theology of the cross that allows us to be “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24). Because God’s righteous wrath for our sins has been poured out on Christ as our sinless substitute, His justice is satisfied and He has passed over our guilt (Rom 3:25).
Focused as they are on the gospel of grace in Christ, these two books have had immeasurable influence on Christian theology throughout the history of the church. Beginning in January, my Sunday School class will begin with a study of Galatians which will take us until Easter, and then we will begin working through Romans (which will take us until at least mid-summer).
Study copies of the biblical text will be provided in class. Those who would like to go further on their own during the week are encouraged to pick up a copy of Galatians: A 12-Week Study by Geoff Ziegler (Crossway, 2015) in the Knowing the Bible series, which is available from christianbook.com for about $8.