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Defending the Gospel

Galatians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Galatians 2:1–10 NKJV
Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
Intro:
Attention Getting: 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.
Textual Segment: There were a group of people known as Judaizers who were trying to impose the Mosaic law and traditions on believers. They were upsetting the churches that Paul started by telling them 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 ().
There was so much at stake in establishing that the Gospel is for all regardless of background, gender, ethnicity, social standing etc.. Spiritual freedom was threatened by these Judaizers.
Relational Segment: Today, it is a different opponent, but there are some who still will put limits on the grace of God by declaring some people unreachable by the gospel. We must study this controversy so we can be better prepared with the good news of Jesus.

1. The Gospel Verified. (1-5)

Galatians 2:1–5 NKJV
Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
Galations

A. Paul’s Gospel Verified

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.
He went to Jerusalem and conferred with the Apostles
He shared what he had been preaching and sought their input on the situation:
Is the gospel for all or only for Jews?
A lot was at stake here
The gospel! A gospel that says salvation is offered to all regardless of wealth, status, religious and cultural background, nationality, education or gender.
Jesus is a free gift to everyone.
Desire: so as not run in vain
If the apostles and Paul disagreed, then somebody was lying when they claimed to represent Jesus.
Both claimed to have learned from Jesus the good news they were sharing.
They agreed!
What they all discovered of course is that they agreed totally together and the unity of the Jewish Church and the Gentile Church was preserved.
There was no indication here or in other writings that the apostles had any correction to Paul.
They accepted him and celebrated the work of God being done through him.

B. Gentile Companion Accepted

Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
In a very clear practical illustration, Titus wasn’t compelled to be circumcised
Even in face of opposition from the Judaizes, he was accepted as a brother in Christ.
This act made the subject confirmed and final!
The apostles accepted an uncircumcised gentile as a brother in the faith.
There is nothing to do in order to get ready to accept Christ.
You don’t become a Jew first.
You don’t go through a class to find Jesus
You just come to Christ in answer to His call!
Paul had been establishing his ministry independent of Apostles.
He sought agreement at this point (14 years later).
If Paul and the other Apostles agree on this their agreement shows harmony.
Churches came together and showed unity on the issue

c. Root of the Problem

Galatians 2:4–5 NKJV
And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
False brethren
4 And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), 5 to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
False brethren
The Judaizes [Who were they again?]]
Sought to make people follow the law to be saved
Because of their false gospel, they were not even brothers
This isn’t a minor rift of disagreement, this is a false movement invading the true churches.
Snuck in by stealth
Wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Matthew 7:15 NKJV
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Sought to enslave them
The Judiazers sought to enslave them.
Keeping the law was enslavement for a believer.
Christ set us free from the external focus of the law and tradiations
We don’t work hard to keep the letter of the law in order to earn favor with God as the Judiazers insisted.
Judaizers wanted to go backwards in part because they wanted control over the churches.
If they had to follow the rules, the Judaizes could control them and manipulate them through the rules.

2. Gospel for All

A. God is impartial

Galatians 2:6 NKJV
But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.
6 But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.
The apostles were held in high esteem, but weren’t different.
Before God we are all equals.
They didn’t add anything to Paul.

B. God had called them to different ministries

Galatians 2:7–9 NKJV
But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), 9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
They agreed to divide the labor logistically.
Apostles focused on Jews
Paul focused on Gentiles
There was no division in doctrine, value, importance, etc.

C. Common Desire

Galatians 2:10 NKJV
They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
They both had a desire to serve the poor
P
Pure religion is generous to others
Needs shouldnd’t go unmet if a child of God is there and able to meet it.
Conclusion:
Paul and the apostles preached the same gospel! They had both received it from Jesus and they were in agreement. God shows no favoritism and all people are commanded to repent. Salvation is open for all types of people and no group is excluded because of who they are.
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