Summary: People of grace are accepting of certain things found in scripture
We started a series two weeks ago on the Book of Galatians. We are titling this series “People of Grace".Today we are going to look at chapter 2 and its connection with people of grace. If you have a bible that gives paragraph divisions and headings to those paragraphs you may notice that chapter 2 has two paragraphs. Paragraph 1 is verses 1-10 and paragraph 2 is verses 11-21. Paragraph one might be titled “Paul accepted by the Apostles” and paragraph two might be titled “Paul opposes Peter.”
These two paragraph headings have given me the idea for this sermon. I would like to talk on the subject “What people of grace accept and oppose.” There is a myth that people of grace accept everything and oppose nothing. We are to tolerate everything and judge nothing. But clearly chapter 2 of Galatians is all about accepting and opposing.
In chapter 1:4 we are told that “Jesus gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age.” We could define sin and the present evil age as both opposing what God accepts and accepting what God opposes. What God opposes as sin our present evil age accepts as good. That is why we are told to repent and believe the good news. We repent of those things God opposes and accept those things that God accepts.
Now all this does not get worked out in one day. Notice Paul begins chapter two with these words. “Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those that seemed to be leaders for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain.” (2:1-2)
Notice Paul is now saved 14 years. He goes to Jerusalem because of a revelation. It’s a revelation of what God accepts and what God opposes. But he does this privately and with fear in case he has gotten it wrong. Paul was being humble and honest. He thinks he knows what God accepts and opposes but in case he is wrong he takes precautions. The point here is that you don’t get saved and know everything God accepts and opposes overnight.
There is a grace that God gives us to teach us to accept what God accepts and to oppose what God opposes. In Titus 2:11-12 we read that “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to al men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” We need that grace! Grace is given to help us with the help we need to accept what God accepts and to oppose what God opposes.
In Galatians chapter 5 Paul goes into detail about what God accepts and opposes. Here in chapter 2 he lays the foundation.
So today we want to look at 4 foundation truths that God accepts found in Galatians chapter 2. These foundation truths are accepted by people of grace and are opposed by this present evil age as presented by the false teachers who had infiltrated the church in Galatia.
1. People of Grace accept we have freedom in Christ alone. (2:v4-5a)
:some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment…”
We assert that we have freedom in Christ alone and oppose those who would try to take that freedom away. For the moment you add anything extra onto faith in Christ you are no longer free. God accepts us on the basis of our faith in Christ.
It is easier to work on what God opposes in your life when you first know you are accepted because of your faith in Christ. Far too many people believe they must first get rid of what God opposes before they are accepted by God. Since I am accepted by God I now have the freedom to work on what God opposes.
If you want to look deeper into the freedom we have in Christ a great place to start is with Romans chapter 8. Here you will find that in Christ you have freedom from condemnation, defeat, fear, confusion and separation from God.
Do we accept the freedom we have in Christ or do we oppose that freedom by adding rules, rituals and religion? It is not the law of God that sets us free but the love of God as shown in Christ Jesus.
Foundation truth 2. People of Grace accept the truth of the Gospel. (2:5)