This is my understanding of the teachings found in Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. It is a work in progress, but those interested can find my thoughts on the the Epistle here.
Paul starts out the book the by saying how grieved he is to hear about the church in regard to their understanding of salvation. He says they have exercised faith in another Gospel. He then establishes the fact that He is an Apostle chosen by God’s grace even though he himself once held to the form of salvation he hears they are.
In chapter 2 Paul remarks that he himself was recognized as an Apostle by the twelve Apostles even though He didn’t need their recognition. He recalls a time when Peter denied the Gospel by his works in eating with only Jews and not gentiles. Then Paul goes into laying the Gospel down to the Galatians. Verse 15 is how he really hammers the Galatians. He says that “justification” is not by works of the Law, but rather by the faithfulness of Jesus, the Messiah. The Law is shown again to not be able to justify. Does that mean people can sin and receive the promise because the Law does not need to be adhered to? He says absolutely not.
After Paul lays out his position in chapter 2 he reminds the Galatians of their receiving of the Spirit. When they received the miraculous gift it was not by the preaching of Moses’ Law, but rather by the preaching of Christ’s faithfulness. Again Abraham is used as an illustration and just like in Romans he points out that the promise is by God’s faithfulness upon those whom exercise faith(fulness) like Abraham. He shows that the Law has curses for those whom are already alive, but the promise has means for eternal life. The promise also was given way before the Law ever was and therefore the Law is not necessary nor does it replace the original promise. The law was administered for the administration of punishment for transgressors. The promise was given for eternal life. Paul notes that before the “faith(fulnes)” of Jesus came the Israelites were locked under the Law, but because of Christ’s coming and His faithfulness the Law is unnecessary. God makes those like Abraham sons through the faithfulness of Jesus.
The law is shown to be a guardian who holds things in place for a time until the time of inheritance comes. Meaning you don’t focus on the guardian, but rather the promised inheritance. Paul then compares the first two wives of Abraham as an illustration of his teaching. The first woman represents the Law which was later cast out, but Sarah birthed the promised child by which Jesus would descend.
Paul starts out this chapter to say that those in Christ are free. This freedom is from the Law, sin, and death. Those who want to be justified by the Law are told that they are alienated from Christ and the gracious promise. He warns them to hold to same Gospel he himself does. He also reminds the Galatians to abstain from wickedness so that they will be able to inherit the kingdom.
Long story short:
Galatians is about the Law vs God’s promise of Life through the faithfulness of Jesus.