One of the predominate themes in the Bible is the way people, both individually and collectively, are prone to forgetfulness, and how faithful God is in his ministry of remembrance. When our eyes are opened to the truth of the gospel and we believe it, it seems impossible in those early weeks and months of conversion that we would ever forget what’s been done for us. But Scripture is replete with stories of Israel’s continual cycles of forgetting God’s goodness, and God’s faithful, sometimes even painful, reminders. We are living in a season when many in the American church are “remembering” the centrality of the gospel to preaching and teaching. Perhaps it seems impossible that we could ever forget again. The book of Galatians serves as a reminder that it in fact is possible, to the peril of our very souls. In Tim Keller’s Bible study Galatians: Gospel Matters, readers are given a solid overview of this important book and its theme of why the gospel does indeed matter so much.
Over seven lessons, readers are lead through a high-level but complete treatment of the entire book. Beginning with lesson one, “Gospel Reversed”, Keller asks questions (and in the attached leader’s guide, offers answers) about how the gospel specifically matters to different aspects of the Christian life. Other lessons titles include “The gospel and the law”, “Gospel adoption”, and “Gospel-given unity.” In each lesson, the content is a balanced mix of questions related directly to the passage and its context, as well as questions related to how the passage should be applied today. Optional “Explore More” sections relate a particular passage to other passages in both the Old and New Testaments. Each lesson concludes with very helpful suggestions for how to pray over what’s been learned.
The study is part of the “Good Book Guide” series of Bible studies published by The Good Book Company. Based in the UK, The Good Book Company publishes a variety of personal and group studies on the Bible as a whole, as well as ones on individual books of the Bible, targeted at both established Christians, and new or previously unchurched Christians. Many of their materials use a collection of standard categories and symbols to help guide people through the different types of questions and study each lesson involves. Reading the introduction to these symbols (rather than skipping it and not understanding them until later) will help you get the most benefit from their guidance.
Tim Keller is best known as the lead pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and as the bestselling author of a number of excellent books. Readers choosing this study mainly because it’s written by him might note that this format does not take people as deeply into God’s Word as his other work. But people looking for a study of Galatians that is an accessible overview of a critical book on a topic we need as much reminding of as its original audience will be blessed by it.
Review by Rachael Starke
Editors Note: Galatians: Gospel Matters by Tim Keller is a 7 week individual or group study that can coordinate with Galatians for You or stand alone.