Defender of the Truth of the Gospel


Galatians 2:1-10

Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Interpretation & Explanation

Verses 1-2 – Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

  • Fourteen years after…
    • He had been working among the Gentiles for a long time
    • Shows his independence from the apostles
  • God’s direction (Acts 15:3)
    • Sent by the church at Antioch
    • “I went up by revelation…” – express command of God
    • God uses his ordained authorities to give direction most of the time.
  • Godly discernment
    • This was not an issue that needed public discussion
    • He was not worried about his teaching
    • He was concerned about the misconstruing of the truth in a public forum
    • He didn’t want to give the Judaisers a platform to promote their ideas
    • It seems like the discussion went too “easily” in Acts 15 – this is why.

Verses 3-5 – But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

  • It was not unlawful for Titus to be circumcised
    • Paul had Timothy be circumcised later (Acts 16)
    • There are areas that “do not matter”
    • If a “questionable” area is insisted upon, we must resist.
  • The apostles had not compelled Titus to be circumcised
  • False brethren had attempted to bring them into bondage
    • Influenced others (Acts 15:5)
    • Christ had made them free
  • Defender of the truth of the gospel
    • The truth is exclusive
    • The truth must be held pure
  • Continue with you
    • Fought for them
    • They must stand for truth

Verses 6-8 – But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

  • Seemed to be somewhat
    • Not a derogatory term (they were somewhat, James, Peter, and John)
    • Their rank and position did not affect the apostleship of Paul
  • Gospel of uncircumcision
    • Not two gospels
    • Two peoples who needed the gospel
  • The same was mighty…
    • Peter was an apostle
    • Paul was also, by the same authority
    • The Holy Spirit authenticates

Verses 9 – And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

  • Pillars
    • Support
      • Well taught
      • Well read
      • Well trained
      • Founded on Christ
    • Adornment
      • Testimony
      • Well respected
      • Well kempt
      • An example of Christ
  • The right hand of fellowship
    • Not jealous of Paul’s success
    • Not hindering his work
    • Frank explanation, freedom from envy

Verse 10 – Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

  • Not a requirement for salvation
    • This was something Paul was admonished to remember in his work
    • He often refers to offerings taken to the saints in Jerusalem
  • Not a social gospel
  • The poor of the household of faith
    • The poor saints at Jerusalem
      • Those who would exclude Paul, he was forward to help!
      • Charity promotes unity

Illustration & Application

  • Necessity of pillars
    • Every building needs support
    • These pillars are visible, recognizable support
      • Not invisible
      • Not non-existent
      • Not weak
  • Defense of the truth
    • The truth is in Christ
      • Only Jesus, not the law
      • Christ fulfilled and satisfied the law
        • Something to remember – Christ is our example
        • The law still very useful to us, does not bind us
    • There will be false brethren
      • Maybe innocently zealous of their own ignorance
      • Maybe purposefully trying to promote evil
        • Personality – promote themselves
        • Doctrine – promote their new doctrine
      • Always ends in bondage
        • Many times claims freedom
        • Never truly free
          • All are servants
          • Who will be your master
    • Truth must be defended
      • Offensively (doctrinally – teaching/preaching)
      • Defensively (polemically – teaching/preaching)
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