Summary: Get the gospel right.
GETTING IT RIGHT…AGAIN
S: Maintaining the Truth of the Gospel
Th: “Grace-Full Living”
Pr: Get the gospel right.
?: What? What keeps us from getting it right?
TS: We will find in our study of Galatians 2:11-14, three obstructions that keep us from getting the gospel right.
The _____ obstruction that keeps us from getting the gospel right is…
RMBC 5/21/00 AM
There is a Russian parable that goes like this…
A hunter raised his rifle and took careful aim at a large bear. When about to pull the trigger, the bear spoke in a soft, soothing voice, “Isn’t it better to talk than shoot? What do you want? Let us negotiate the matter.” Lowering his rifle, the hunter replied, “I want a fur coat.” “Good,” said the bear, “that is a negotiable question. I only want a full stomach, so let us negotiate a compromise.” They sat down to negotiate, and after a time the bear walked away alone. The negotiations had been successful. The bear had a full stomach, and the hunter had his fur coat.
1. Have you ever found yourself compromising?
I am sure that if you had been the hunter, you would not have ultimately been satisfied with the results of that compromise.
It seems that compromises do not always give the satisfaction that they promise.
Now, I do not mean to talk down compromise.
For there are times when compromise is appropriate.
When the issues are on lesser matters, compromise is often the way to go.
But we also need to recognize that there are times that compromise is devastating.
2. Compromise often calls for a sacrifice of truth.
We need wisdom to discern when this is happening.
We are never to give up on truth.
When we come to today’s passage, this is exactly what is happening.
Paul is catching someone else compromising, and he refuses to let it continue.
But his refusal is all the more startling, because the confrontation is with another apostle, Peter himself.
Before we come to the confrontation, we must first understand that the great body of rabbinical tradition, under which Peter grew up and Paul had studied, was grounded in works righteousness.
The way of attaining merit before God was through a strict observance of a seemingly endless list of man-made regulations and ceremonies.
The best known of these groups that taught this was the Pharisees.
They proudly believed that because of their religious works, they were receivers of God’s special favor.
It was from this body of teaching that a group called the Judaizers arose.
They claimed to follow Christ, but they also taught that a Gentile had to be circumcised and follow the Mosaic law before he could be saved.
They taught that all believers, whether Jew or Gentile, had to continue observance of the law in order to maintain their relation to God.
Their teaching was in opposition to what Paul had taught the Galatians.
We have observed in our previous studies that…
1. Paul has concern for the purity of the gospel (1:1-10).
Simply, he said, “Don’t mess with the message!”
The gospel is not to be compromised.
There is no truth to works righteousness.
We cannot receive right standing with God by working our way to God.
We receive right standing with God by trusting in His work on our behalf.
That is the free gift of God.
That is the essence of the gospel.
Paul then goes on to show that he…
2. Paul is not dependent on the other apostles (1:11-24).
These Judaizers, in their attempt to discredit the gospel message, tried to discredit Paul’s credentials.
They said that he was a cheap imitation of the other apostles.
They said that they spoke with the authority of Jerusalem and thus, James and Peter.
But Paul would have none of that.
He said, in effect, “Don’t mess with the messenger!”
Paul knew where His call came from.
It was the same as Peter’s and the rest of the apostles’.
His call came from Jesus.
Therefore, he was not dependent on them.
3. Paul, nevertheless, had been warmly accepted by the apostles (2:1-10)
In the passage that we studied last week, we found that the apostles were unified.
When the church in Jerusalem was confronted with the Gentile believer, Titus, and the Judaizers made the point that he ought to be circumcised, it was rejected.
They were all agreed.
This was an addition to the gospel.
And as a result, Paul was warmly accepted by the church as a friend and an apostle.
But there is one more event that is to take place before the Jerusalem Council that we find in Acts 15 concludes the matter.