To The Churches in Galatia

Galatians 1:1-12

Many New Testament letters begin with a predictable pattern of greeting, offering grace and commending the addressees for being steadfast in their faith and commitment to Christ. Personal greetings, apostolic greetings, and courteous formalities are usually expressed before "getting down to business."

Galatians is not one of those letters. 

Right from the start Paul jumps in with a sharply worded warning: his readers are in danger of being seduced away from the Gospel by outside influencers. The Galatians congregations have come under the spell of "false teachers" trying to place undue religious burdens on his friends.  Paul believes they are nullifying the very freedom and salvation Paul preached to the Galatians and substituting a salvation based on burdensome religious works.

The letter to the churches in Galatia is passionate, urgent...sometimes almost angry in tone. 

The original recipients may even have found Pauls's words difficult to hear, but ultimately the passionate appeal and stern words reflect nothing more than a loving shepherd caring for his flock; Paul will not always be there for them and he longs to see them mature and prosper in the Christian faith.