My Maker, mold me, make me, shape me into who You want me to be.
Read Galatians 2:1–10
Paul Accepted by the Apostles
2 Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
6 As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b] 8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James, Cephas[c] and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.
a Galatians 2:7 That is, Gentiles
b Galatians 2:7 That is, Jews; also in verses 8 and 9
c Galatians 2:9 That is, Peter; also in verses 11 and 14
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow do you decide which battles are worth fighting?
These were awkward days for Titus. Paul took him, a Gentile Christian, to the headquarters of the Jewish church in Jerusalem with one question: must Titus be circumcised? This was no trivial question for Paul (or Titus!). What’s at stake is the freedom of the Gospel (4).
Paul is worried that all he’s done might be undone (2b). He’s not doubting the Gospel. He’s just explained in Chapter 1 that it’s not his Gospel—it’s God’s, and to change it brings a curse. But like a relay sprinter who runs his leg well, it’s all in vain if others on the team fumble their part.
So Titus is a test case, not for Paul, but for those who appear to be influential leaders in Jerusalem (6). Will they be true to the Gospel of grace? Do they agree that Christ fulfills every part of the Old Testament? That there are no superior and inferior Christians? That all are saved equally through the same cross of Christ? That if there is anything extra we must do to be saved, we are back in slavery?
Yes, they did. Paul’s Gospel was the same as theirs. They added nothing to the Gospel (6b). It’s never “Jesus plus…” They partnered with Paul with a handshake (9). They were united.
Are there ways that you have looked at other Christians and seen “wrong” actions when in reality they were only different? How can you extend grace to other believers today?
Lord, open my heart to see my fellow Christians the way that You see them. Show me which things we can agree to disagree on.