Summary: Paul has expressed astonishment that churches of Galatia have turned from faith alone to faith plus law. He says what they have really done is moved from the true gospel to no gospel at all.
Is the Gospel really for everybody? You have probably heard someone tell the humorous one liner; you can’t get there from here. That is what the Judaizers were telling the churches in Galatia about coming to Christ only they weren’t trying to be funny.
There were a group of people known as Judaizers who were trying to impose the Mosaic ceremonial law on believers in Christ. They were upsetting the churches that Paul started. These Judaizers were telling these new churches that to be a Christian you must first become a Jew and follow Jewish law and only then could you come to Christ.
They taught a distorted truth that said you can’t come directly to Christ as a pagan gentile. Paul’s calling was as an apostle to the gentiles. Paul himself was a converted Jew, but his ministry was to the gentiles.
If the Apostles in Jerusalem don’t help Paul correct this false teaching then his race has been run in vain (Gal 2:2). The Judaizers influence had the potential to ruin the missionary efforts where Paul was seeing great blessing. Paul must firmly establish in these new churches that the Gospel is for all.
There was so much at stake in establishing that the Gospel is for all. Spiritual freedom was threatened by these Judaizers. We must study this controversy so no one dare tell us that the Gospel is not for all.
The case for Christian liberty Galatians 2:1-5
Americans can be thankful for their country and the freedoms we enjoy. But there was a high price paid for our countries Liberty. The cry of Patrick Henry, “give me liberty or give me death,” reminds us of that. Some did die for the cause of liberty.
Paul was a champion for spiritual liberty. A great struggle was taking place. He performed as a champion in the cause of spiritual liberty at the Jerusalem council.
Flashback to the Jerusalem Council, Acts 15
Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also.
Paul has expressed astonishment that churches of Galatia have turned from faith alone to faith plus law. He says what they have really done is moved from the true gospel to no gospel at all.
Paul has been this route before. He dealt with this very issue at the Jerusalem council. This happened he said fourteen years after his first visit to Jerusalem. Read Acts 15 to get more details about this council. In Acts 15:15 states the problem dealt with there; the gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses.
In Galatians 2:1 Paul mentions that he took Titus with him to Jerusalem and in verse 3 he tells us why he did that. Titus was a gentile Christian who was not circumcised. Titus was what in a courtroom might be called “exhibit A.” When you read the reference Paul made of Titus in his letters, the way Paul addressed him in the Book of Titus, the responsibilities that were entrusted to him you see Titus was a faithful Christian.
Titus stood as a defense that the gospel was for all. You do not have to first become a Jew. You don’t have to first become anything. Just come to Christ as you are.