Summary: We, who were at one time in bondage to sin, when Jesus come into our heart and life, He breaks the bondage of sin and sets us free.
Galatians 2:1 -- 10. 10/03/04
The thing we need to remember about the book of Galatians is that the message of Paul is under attack. When he went to Galatia, he preached salvation by Grace through faith plus nothing. In comes the false teachers, teaching salvation by the Grace of God through faith plus works, keeping the Commandments. And Paul said in chapter 1, I am dumbfounded that you are so soon removed. Many of those he led to the Lord were transferring their allegiance from faith to works. Then Paul had some very strong language for those who were teaching this false doctrine. What was taking place is those believers who were in the process of transferring their allegiance to the false doctrine were leaving their freedom in Christ back to bondage they were saved from. I have titled the message going back.
The book of Galatians is a book about Liberty. When we come to know the Lord Jesus as our savior, He sets us free. We, who were at one time in bondage to sin, when Jesus come into our heart and life, He breaks the bondage of sin and sets us free.
This is no small issue that Paul is discussing. It is very important for you and me to understand it. Somewhere along the way, you will encounter those who will attempt to put you back into bondage.
Now what Paul is telling us here is something about the meeting that was held back in Jerusalem. It was their first official meeting of the church. You can read about the meeting in acts 15. What Paul does here is to explain to us the dynamics of the meeting. The decisions that were made in that Jerusalem Council affect your life and my life today. Those decisions made at that meeting is why you and I worship the Lord on the first day of the week instead of Saturday. The crucial issue settled at that meeting was the issue of salvation. How a person is saved.
There were two groups at the meeting. One group said it is Jesus plus circumcision necessary for salvation. They were saying Jesus wasn’t enough so there must also be circumcision. The other group to which Paul was in, said you are saved by Grace of the Lord Jesus. This was a very important decision. Which one is correct?
Now let’s seat ourselves at the Council and listen to what is being said. The first point we want to talk about is PAUL’S DOCTRINAL PRESENTATION. Look at verse 1.
Paul said I laid out to them the message I had been preaching to the Gentile. We know his message. He had been preaching the good news that Jesus died for our sins and on the third day He was resurrected. Whosoever will accept Him in faith will be saved and set free from the bondage of sin. He said that is the doctrinal statement I laid out before them.
By the way, that is the message I have been preaching for over 20 years. It was the message that was preached for 2000 years. It cannot be improved upon and I refuse to hear any new gospel.
Now you will notice he said in verse 2 that he not only went publicly but also privately with his message. That means he went to the leaders of the church telling about what he had been preaching. I can almost hear Peter as he says, Paul, that is what I have been preaching. James says Paul, if you are wrong then I am wrong for I have been preaching the same message. Listen, if it was good enough for Paul, James and Peter it is good enough for Melvin. Isn’t that something; I am preaching the same message as Paul? The message Paul preached is the one you are hearing. It was a message that if people believed could be saved. You to can be saved by receiving Jesus as your savior.
We see not only Paul’s doctrinal statement but also PAUL’S CEREMONIAL CONFRONTATION.
When you read about the Council meeting in acts 15, you find Peter took the floor and talked about the message he had preached to the Jews. He said they were gloriously saved by the message. Then Paul and Barnabas got up and talked about the message they were preaching all over the Gentile world and people were being saved. They said we have one of our converts with us, his name is Titus. Titus, would you get up and give your personal testimony? I can almost hear Titus with tear the filled eyes as he said I was once in darkness. I was headed down the road to a devil’s hell. One day Paul came by and preached the good news that God loved me and wanted a relationship with me. I was saved, thank God, I am saved. I am going to heaven when I die. I cannot almost hear Paul ask Titus, Titus were you circumcised? Titus said no, you never told me I needed to be. That is where we have the confrontation. The false teachers jumped up and said that means he is not saved.