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Galatians & James: Faith and Works


11 Sessions—7 Galatians & 4 James

by  Carol J. Miller


BIG IDEAS in small books — 

Leaders will love the flexibility these resources offer:

  • run the course for a one semester thematic study of 11 sessions
  • offer Galatians as a seasonal study, James at a later time
  •  offer James as a short seasonal study for Lent or Advent, offering Galatians later in the year.



Adult Bible study should be progressive and cumulative. Each study should lead participants to ask, "What's next?" And each study should inform the next choice. By choosing a "BIG IDEAS in small books" resource, you have provided your group with a thematically linked opportunity to explore key books of the Bible. 




GALATIANS - In a letter that is called by many "the Magna Carta of Christian liberty," Paul writes urgently to a church in crisis.  The church in Galatia was beset on two sides: from Judaizers claiming that Gentiles must become Jews before becoming Christians, and from Gnostic teachers who abused Christian freedoms.  With an impassioned eloquence, the Apostle Paul puts forth his doctrine of justification by grace alone. Lest anyone mistake this liberty as permission to ignore the moral code, Paul reasserts what he perceives as the true function of the Mosaic Law in relation to God's grace manifested in Christ.  Scholars agree—declaration of these principles made Christianity a world religion instead of a Jewish sect.  

7 Sessions

- What Were You Thinking!
- The Heart of the Gospel
- In Favor of Grace
- What is the Law for?
- An Appeal to Friendship
- Living the Faith in the Faith Community
- Living the Gospel


JAMES - The author of this small but mighty letter is certainly not in disagreement with Paul—salvation is found solely through Christ.  Moreover, both men would agree that Christian life should be expressed by deeds of charity.  However, James is indignantly opposed to a popular distortion and sloganeering of Paul's words.  James, as one of those closest to Jesus, has the authority to counter these false slogans about faith and works attributed to Paul which influenced Christians to neglect their obligations to aid their poverty-stricken and suffering brothers and sisters.  At the heart of this short letter is an absolute conviction that love of one's neighbor fulfills the Law.  

4 Sessions

- The Mysteries of James
- What is Faith?
- The Dangers in Ourselves
- Warnings and Instructions