Faithlife Sermons

Freedom- Defender I

Freedom - Justified by Grace a study of book of Galatians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

Paul's first fight- defending the gospel

Notes & Transcripts

Home of the Brave!

You know the song, you know how it end, “and the home of the brave.” Freedom for this Country came from being brave, being courageous. Paul was confident, brave and courageous as he faced defending the Gospel. There will be times in your life when you may have to defend your belief, your faith, the church, to defend the Gospel. But as Paul was brave, as Paul was courageous let us be the same with the same attitude Paul displays in the text before us today.
To Paul Spiritual liberty, spiritual freedom was more important that the thoughts and the ways of man. He was willing to fight for freedom. Here in chapter two there are two fights that happen. Today we look at the first one, Christian liberty with the issues dealt with at the Jerusalem Council (goes with Act15:1-35) Then the second one is with Peter when we look at Gal2:11-21.
The first century may have had issues with if nothing was done standing up for the freedom there is in Christ Jesus we may be just another Jewish sect that had a mix of grace and the Law. Legalism in the church can try to put chains of bondage on people today and replace the grace in which Christ died for us. Remember that this series is entitled
(Slide) Freedom: Justified by faith
The bible is not lacking in drama and today we have a three act drama before us but before getting to the play let me give you just a little info on the players.
(Slide) Paul: Apostle chosen by the will of God- not sent by man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father (Gal1:1)
(Slide) Barnabas: The Encourager -Traveled with Paul on missionary journey (Act13:1ff), sent to Antioch to encourage the church (Act11:25ff) he also is the one who vouched for Paul before the Apostles (Act9:26ff)
(Slide) Titus: The Greek Gentile - worked and travelled with Paul, was converted by Paul and he entrusted by Paul to handle some of the difficult situations within the early church (see 2Cor7 and Tit1:5)
(Slide) James - Brother of the Lord- Not to be confused with Apostle James who was martyred by hands of Herod. He is credited with being a leader of the church in Jerusalem
(Slide) Peter - Who brought the first convert from Gentiles - He can be credited with many other things, my foot in mouth, wavering faith at times, but all for God’s purpose and glory, He was the Apostles mouthpiece on the day of Pentecost (Act2:14ff); brought gospel to Samaritans (Act8) and the Gentiles originally in (Act10).
(Slide) The False Brethren - infiltrators with different Gospel (Gal1:5-6) - This is where the problem starts, they have a misconception of grace and we will cover more on this as we go.
We will be spending lot’s of time tonight going back and forth between Galatians and Acts15, you may want to mark both as we look at this play in action.

I. Act One - A private audience

Galatians 2:1–2 NASB95
1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2 It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.
(Slide) and , visits?
(Slide) and , visits?
Famine visit ()
Jerusalem Council (Acts15 and Gal2:1-10)
I don’t want to spend much time on this, the visit as noted in Acts11 has to do with the famine going on in Jerusalem and the delivering of the offering collected to help the church in Jerusalem, in this visit is when the people were scared of Paul but Barnabas spoke up, vouched for Paul.
So first missionary trip has been completed with Barnabas a Levite from Cypress and an original member of the church according to (Act4:36). Along with Titus who would be the test case for Paul’s Gospel in our passage today.
Revelation is the reason going to Jerusalem (v.2), to Paul, to the church at Antioch who knows, but the point of the matter is it is God’s will for Paul to go to Jerusalem.
Acts 15:1 NASB95
1 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
This is the issue at hand, something the Jews had believed and done from the days of Abraham (Gen17); Paul was not compelled to get the approval of the church in Jerusalem.
(Slide) Is circumcision necessary for salvation?
Submitting to circumcision meant submitting to and obeying the whole Jewish Law. Paul and Barnabas come to confront the issue head on.
Acts 15:2 NASB95
2 And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.

The best place to do that is in Jerusalem and that is the setting for our play.

(Slide) Met in private not because of doubt, but because of respect (v.2) - Paul had no worries about the Gospel he was preaching, he received it directly from the Lord (Gal1:11-12). He was not worried about offending man, but division was the concern.
Paul’s simple display of respect, courtesy and common decency is a great example for us today not just when it comes to sharing the hope as commanded (1Pt3:8) but in all dealings, in all things.
It was better to meet with them privately than make a public spectacle of the issue. Again Paul was about inclusion not division.
Acts 15:3 NASB95
3 Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren.
Paul’s message is the same the inclusion of the Gentiles too, two bodies (Jews/Gentiles) becoming one body (the Church). The message brings great joy.
The result of the private meeting was acceptance of the message, the gospel Paul was preaching to the Gentiles as directed by the Lord.
Romans 11:13 NASB95
13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
Paul’s goal was the truth of the gospel would remain (v.5). The result was they added nothing to the message (v.6) but let’s go on and we will get to that more in a few minutes.

II. The Public proclamation

Galatians 2:3–5 NASB95
3 But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
Titus the test case, a gentile of Greek origin was not even compelled to be circumcised (v.3)
This was not without confrontation, consideration, consultation for there were false brethren) who were.
(Slide)They were secretly brought in
(Slide) Sneaked in to spy out the liberty in Christ
(Slide) Desired to bring them into bondage
This is not the only place where we see secretly infiltrated in the scripture
2 Peter 2:1 NASB95
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Jude 4 NASB95
4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Those are pretty strong verses and today still the same, people who want to infiltrate the church and cause division or to enter heresy into the church by compromise that is clearly against what the scripture says.
Paul was not willing to compromise in any way when it came to the message, to salvation issues, nor should we. Now there are areas that we should be willing to compromise that are non-salvation issues such as exercising your freedom at the cost of stumbling your brother.
1 Corinthians 8:13 NASB95
13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
(Slide) Now I would be remiss not mentioning Timothy was compelled to be circumcised but Titus was not.
(Slide) Timothy was 1/2 Jew; furthered the effectiveness of the ministry to be circumcised (Acts16:1-3)
(Slide) Titus was a Gentile, never under the Law
This all was not an easy thing for the 1st century Christians, which were mostly Jews in the beginning. Jews and Gentiles had always been separated but Jesus broke down that separation (you can see in Eph2:11-22) See in Christ there is no difference at all.
Galatians 3:28 NASB95
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Paul brought the testimony of what had been going on with the Gentiles
Acts 15:12 NASB95
12 All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
Wouldn’t it be good to hear the mission reports from our missionaries sent out into the field today with a listening ear who wants to see the wonders that God is doing today?
(Slide) The outcome is found in Act15:13-21 (summarized)
(Slide) Jews/Gentiles saved the same way, through Faith in Jesus Christ.
(Slide) Take care of the poor
Paul was concerned about the truth of the gospel (gal2:5, 14) not the peace of the church. For the truth of the gospel brings peace to the church.
James 3:17 NASB95
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
Peace at any price should never been our philosophy. For that would be compromise and that is a slippery slope.

III. Personal Confirmation

Galatians 2:6–7 NASB95
6 But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised
Galatians 2:8–9 NASB95
8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
Galatians 2:10 NASB95
10 They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.
Paul was not concerned about the those of high reputation (v.6) for he knew God was not a partial God to people or position. He wanted them to recognize the grace of God he was preaching was the same grace of God that Peter proclaimed to the circumcised. (vv.7-8)
The confirmation comes in (v.9)
They added nothing to the the message (v.6)
(Slide) They offered the right hand of fellowship to him - this is not that Paul needed the right hand of fellowship, he had the same message he came with, he did not need the other apostles approval for he was on equal ground
(Slide) Called by the Lord as an Apostle ---This is one slide, keep it that way to save time
Taught by the Lord
Taught by the Lord
Sent with a mission and a message
This right hand of fellowship was from one apostle to another in fulfilling the mission of Christ. As Peter, John and James were apostles to the circumcised, Paul was apostle to the Gentiles. Each understood the grace (assignment, calling) they were given.
The only thing they did ask of Paul was to remember the poor (v.10) which he was already doing.
Acts 11:29–30 NASB95
29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.
there are many others places to, to see that this was Paul’s heart and desire in Rom15:25-28, 1Cor16:1-4 and 2COr9:1-9:15 you can look those up on your own for further study.
(Slide) Barclay says “correct doctrine should never substitute Christian duty” (i.e. Jam2:14-26)
What started off that could be very divisive ended up with great cooperation and agreement and sending Paul on his way with others to carry the message with him.
Acts 15:32 NASB95
32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.
Cooperation with each others, it’s biblical. How about this.
Psalm 133:1 NASB95
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!
We need to remember this today; we need to be brave and courageous and be sharing the gospel or helping someone to understand more accurately so they can obey the gospel. We can do it with gentleness and respect (1Pt3:15) for the Lord adds to the number those being saved (Act2:47).
Lead to invitation, encouragement
Related Media
Related Sermons