Summary: Walking according to the truth of the Gospel can be inconvenient and uncomfortable at times. It can happen to the best of us, just ask Peter.
Follow me in this extended reading from Galatians:
Galatians 1:11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure, and tried to destroy it;
14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.
15 But when He who had set me apart, even from my mother’s womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased
16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,
17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.
19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
20 (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.)
21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
22 And I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ;
23 but only, they kept hearing, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy."
24 And they were glorifying God because of me.
2:1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.
2 And it was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, lest I might be running, or had run, in vain.
3 But not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
4 But it was because of the false brethren who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.
5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
6 But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)-- well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.
7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised
8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles),
9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we might go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.
10 They only asked us to remember the poor-- the very thing I also was eager to do.
Why is he telling them this? To show that he didn’t get the gospel he preaches from any man, but from Jesus Christ.
What are his points?
1. He was headed up the Judaism ladder and would still be climbing except Jesus Christ called him to preach to Gentiles.
2. He didn’t go to Jerusalem to get his gospel, Jesus gave it to him, and, in fact, he was preaching a long time before he ever got with any church leaders in Jerusalem. Most of them had only heard about his conversion.
3. When he did go to meet with them years later, he took Titus, a gentile with him, and presented the message he preached before the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. They fully accepted him, Titus was accepted, uncircumcised and all.
4. They saw that the Lord had called Paul to preach to gentiles, just as Peter was entrusted to preach to Jews. The right hand of fellowship was given to them and the only thing the church leaders asked was to remember the poor.
Notice 1:20 (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.) They could check his story out with others.
Paul’s gospel came to him from God. Is that true? Is what we are reading here really and truly from God? There are those that would challenge that. There are many others who wouldn’t challenge it, they just won’t accept it. They don’t believe it. There are some who say they believe it, but by their actions and priorities they reveal that they really do not believe it. Then there are those who receive the gospel, believe it, embrace Jesus Christ as the crucified, buried, risen and coming Son of God who is King of kings, Lord of lords, and ruler of our lives today and forever! That’s who we are! That’s who the church Jesus died for is! That describes Paul’s life and the lives of all who are walking in the truth of the gospel! But even the best need help at times walking consistantly in the truth of the gospel.