Galatia is a region in the central part of present-day Turkey. Fierce Celtic raiders from Gaul (now western Europe) invaded Galatia, but in 25 bc Caesar Augustus established it as a Roman province. During Paul’s first missionary journey (ad 48), he and Barnabas visited four different cities in Galatia: Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, and then revisited each city on their way back, even though the first three had run them out of town.
One of the challenges in Galatia was the multicultural atmosphere, which created some tensions within the early Christian churches. Judaizers were some sincere Jewish Christians who insisted that the non-Jewish Gentile Christians must observe the traditional Jewish ceremonial law. Shortly after this first missionary trip, Paul wrote a letter to the newly found churches in the cities of Galatia to address such issues. Paul emphasizes his main point three times in Galatians 2:16, “Yet we know that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law, since by the works of the Law no one will be justified.”