Summary: The 7 pillars of Christian Fellowship provide the basis for true interrelationship between people, churches, denominations
North College Ave. Baptist Church
1Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2And 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. 3But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4And 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: 5To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. 6But 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: 7But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9And 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. 10Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
I. In humility he goes to see the leaders of the early church and sets before them the message
God gave him to make sure that he was getting it right.
A. It is easy for us to become sure of ourselves in what we think the Lord has called
1. In what we think "real Christians" ought to think or do or say.
2. A little humility is called for in our life as believers
3. God has called others too and he may have something to say to you
B. Christian Fellowship must always be characterized by humility.
A. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even
though he was a Greek.
1. I believe Paul intentionally brought Titus as an uncircumcised Gentile
believer, who was also a model of Christian integrity as a model of God’s
grace through faith alone and not by the requirements of the Law.
2. The fact that the Jerusalem brethren accepted him as is became Paul’s
proof of the truth that salvation was by God’s grace through faith alone.
B. That also makes him a model of the fact that salvation and the fellowship of
believers transcends racial boundaries. Not only can gentiles be saved, they don’t
have to imitate Jews to do so.
C. Not only are blacks and whites brothers in Christ, we don’t have to walk alike, and
talk alike, and sing alike, and clap alike to prove that we’re brothers, our bond is
deeper than that our bond is in the roots, our trunks don’t have to look the same.
III. Loyalty Vs. 5
A. Paul was loyal not only to the truth of the Gospel that we are saved by God’s work
and not our work
B. He is loyal also to His Brother Titus. It would have been easy for him to say, look
buddy it’s going to be easier if you just play their game, it will prevent a quarrel.
C. No Paul stuck to his guns, He was loyal to the man and to the message.
D. The point here is that while there is room for diversity in non essentials, the core of
the Gospel is not negotiable and it requires loyalty, even when the chorus around
calls for compromise.
IV. Unity VS. 6
A. Paul and the Jerusalem leaders agreed that they were preaching the same
B. Where there is no unity in these essentials there is no Christian fellowship.
V. Responsibility vs. 7-8
A. Paul had a job he was called to do, Peter had a job he was called to do.
B. That was the way God had planned it. They each had a territory they were to stake
out, they had a common root but they were showing their faces in different places.
A. This is the Gospel according to Rodney King. "Can’t we all just get along?"
1. No actually it goes beyond that.
2. The picture is one of genuine warmth.
3. We don’t just tolerate one another in the church, the basis of our Christian