Paul builds on the authority that he laid out in the first chapter of Galatians by pointing out that the leadership on the church in Jerusalem agreed that those who had not been circumcised need not be so. This was important because when Abraham was set apart by God the sign of that setting apart was circumcision. No special rites were needed in order to follow Jesus. God made the passage easy and simple. There was a call to put Jesus first and to follow him, accepting his death and accepting the gift of eternal life that comes through the resurrection. The life that new converts lead is not marked by special rites of passage.
The apostles and Paul have preached the same gospel. In today’s times we should do no different. However, I am not so concerned about the nature of the gospel that we communicate, I am more concerned in today’s world that no gospel is communicated at all.
1 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.
- Why did Paul go to Jerusalem?
- What was Titus not compelled to do?
- What were false believers spying on?
- How are issues like homosexuality, the environment, and social justice sometimes guilty of clouding the gospel?
- Describe the gospel in three sentences?