Summary: Paul’s battle to preserve the Gospel of Grace!
SERIES TITLE: GALATIANS - A STUDY IN BASIC CHRISTIANITY
SERMON TITLE: Approved and Affirmed (Lesson Four)
SERMON TEXT: Galatians 2:1-10
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, for fear that 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 with the gospel 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.
It was Saturday afternoon. Someone knocked on the door and when I opened it I was greeted by two men dressed in suits who were holding some literature. They had name tags and they asked some question about bible prophecy and current events. Before I could answer they informed me that they would like to come in and talk with me about these important issues. I had talked with some of these folks before and it did absolutely no good, so I politely suggested that this wasn’t a good time. As expected they asked when they could come back to talk with me. I offered to pray with them, then and there and before I could bow my head, they were gone and did not come back.
I’m certain that most of us have had similar experiences. Maybe it was someone selling the Watchtower or two nicely dressed boys on bicycles giving away their church’s literature. Knowing what I do about their belief systems, I am certain that their chief concern wasn’t my soul, but reaching their quota. They were trying to earn God’s favor, something I already had. Although they would deny it, they were going to offer me a change to work for what I already had. To buy into their system of belief I would have to give up what God has already given me.
Paul realized this and did everything in his power to fight for "the Gospel" revealed to him by Jesus Christ.
I. THE OCCASION - 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, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.
A. THE TIME – After his conversion and after his reception of the Gospel of grace.
1. Paul’s first visit to Jerusalem came three years after his conversion. (1:18-20)
2. Paul’s second visit came fourteen years later. (2:1.)
B. THE TEAM – Two people went with him as witnesses.
1. Paul the apostle
2. Barnabas – His name means "son of encouragement."
3. Titus - An uncircumcised Greek who came to Christ under Paul’s ministry.
C. THE MOTIVATION – "It was because of a revelation that I went up." The Lord sent him.
D. THE CONCERN - "I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain" (2:2).
1. Privately to those of reputation. (For their identity see verse 9.)
a. James – The son of Mary and half-brother of Jesus. He was the leader of the church is Jerusalem (Acts 15 and 21:18) and writer of the Epistle of James. He was very Jewish in his thinking.
b. Cephas – Simon Peter