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Galatians 2 1 10

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Galatians 2:1-10

Men’s Class

Grapevine Church of Christ

June 13, 2007

Paul established in Galatians chapter one that:

1.    his apostleship came from God – not from men

2.    the gospel he preached came from God – not from men

Let’s read Galatians 2:1-10 and see what it’s all about:

Galatians 2:1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I awent up again to Jerusalem with bBarnabas, taking cTitus along also. 2 1It was because of a arevelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the bgospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be crunning, or had run, in vain. 3 But not even aTitus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was bcompelled to be circumcised. 4 But it was because of the afalse brethren secretly brought in, who bhad sneaked in to spy out our cliberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to dbring us into bondage. 5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that athe truth of the gospel would remain with you. 6 But from those who 1were of high areputation (what they were makes no difference to me; bGod 2shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been aentrusted with the bgospel 1to the uncircumcised, just as cPeter had been 2to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his aapostleship 1to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing athe grace that had been given to me, 1bJames and cCephas and John, who were dreputed to be epillars, gave to me and fBarnabas the gright 2hand of fellowship, so that we might hgo to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They only asked us to remember the poor—athe very thing I also was eager to do.[i]

Why did Paul go to Jerusalem on the occasion cited in Galatians 2?

V2 – Revelation from God directed him to go.

Did Paul go to Jerusalem because he needed help understanding the gospel?

·        Absolutely not – his understanding came from God!

·        He had already been preaching for 14 years!

Why was this trip necessary?

Acts 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are ccircumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”


Was circumcision the only issue?

Acts 15:1-5 1 aSome men came down from Judea and began teaching bthe brethren, “Unless you are ccircumcised according to dthe custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And when Paul and Barnabas had 1great dissension and adebate with them, bthe brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the capostles and elders concerning this issue. 3 Therefore, being asent on their way by the church, they were passing through both bPhoenicia and Samaria, cdescribing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all dthe brethren. 4 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and athe apostles and the elders, and they breported all that God had done with them. 5 But some of athe sect of the bPharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to ccircumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.”

Is this the same gospel that Paul has preached?

What did Paul say about any other gospel?

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or aan angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel 1contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be 2baccursed! 9 As we ahave said before, so I say again now, bif any man is preaching to you a gospel 1contrary to what you received, he is to be 2caccursed![ii]

What did Paul do when he arrived in Jerusalem? V2

Shared privately with James and the apostles the message he had preached to Gentiles.

How could Paul have been working in vain? If the rest of the church was teaching in error, his efforts with Gentiles would have been damaged.

Why did Paul seem to emphasize so strongly that “those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me?

1.    Reputations may not have meant anything to Paul, but they did mean something to others.

2.    Others would be watching to see how the other apostles reacted to the gospel Paul was preaching among the Gentiles.

3.    To emphasize again that the gospel is from God, not from men.

If they added nothing to his gospel, why does Paul even write about the leaders in Jerusalem?

1.    Because they agreed with Paul and this would lend even greater credence for those who were concerned about such things.

2.    They encouraged him to remember the poor (watch out, I’m asking)

3.    They put him on the same plane as Peter!

4.    They recognized the grace that had been given Paul.

5.    They extended the right hand of fellowship to Paul.

What is significant about the “right hand of fellowship?” equality

Why was Paul so adamant about not circumcising Titus? Precedent!

What race or nationality was Titus?  Greek

If Titus could be Christian without circumcision – then no one needed circumcision!

Why were the false teachers so adamant about circumcising Titus? The very same reason! Precedent. If Titus could be Christian without circumcision – then no one needed circumcision and no one needed to obey the law of Moses! 


·       Paul’s trip to Jerusalem was directed by God. He had already been preaching 14 years and the leaders in Jerusalem contributed nothing to the gospel message of Paul.

·       If anyone corrected anyone else, it was Paul who did the correcting.

·       Paul and the circumcised leaders of the church in Jerusalem AGREED! The provisions of the law of Moses, including circumcision, were not a part of the gospel.


Why did Paul circumcise Timothy?

·        Timothy’s mother was Jewish and Paul did not want to offend his Jewish brethren. Timothy’s circumcision set no precedent.

·        Titus was Greek and there was no reason to circumcise him other then to please the Jews who wished to bind the Mosaic law on Gentile Christians.

Much is sometimes made about the so called ‘council’ at Jerusalem in Acts 15.     What authority did this council have regarding circumcision?



Acts 15:6 aThe apostles and the elders came together to 1look into this 2matter. 7 After there had been much adebate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that 1in the early days bGod made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of cthe gospel and believe. 8 “And God, awho knows the heart, testified to them bgiving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and aHe made no distinction between us and them, bcleansing their hearts by faith. 10 “Now therefore why do you aput God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which bneither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 “But we believe that we are saved through athe grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” 12 All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were arelating what bsigns and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles [iii]

This council had no authority whatsoever to change the gospel God had himself declared.



a Acts 15:2

b Acts 4:36; Gal 2:9, 13

c 2 Cor 2:13; Gal 2:3

1 Lit according to revelation I went up

a Acts 15:2; Gal 1:12

b Gal 1:6

c Rom 9:16; 1 Cor 9:24ff; Gal 5:7; Phil 2:16; 2 Tim 4:7; Heb 12:1

a 2 Cor 2:13; Gal 2:1

b Acts 16:3; 1 Cor 9:21

a Acts 15:1, 24; 2 Cor 11:13, 26; Gal 1:7

b 2 Pet 2:1; Jude 4

c Gal 5:1, 13; James 1:25

d Rom 8:15; 2 Cor 11:20

a Gal 1:6; 2:14; Col 1:5

1 Lit seemed to be something

a 2 Cor 11:5; 12:11; Gal 2:9; 6:3

b Acts 10:34

2 Lit does not receive a face

a 1 Cor 9:17; 1 Thess 2:4; 1 Tim 1:11

b Acts 9:15; Gal 1:16

1 Lit of the uncircumcision

c Gal 1:18; 2:9, 11, 14

2 Lit of the circumcision

a Acts 1:25

1 Lit of the circumcision

a Rom 12:3

1 Or Jacob

b Acts 12:17; Gal 2:12

c Luke 22:8; Gal 1:18; 2:7, 11, 14

d 2 Cor 11:5; 12:11; Gal 2:2, 6; 6:3

e 1 Tim 3:15; Rev 3:12

f Acts 4:36; Gal 2:1, 13

g 2 Kin 10:15

2 Lit hands

h Gal 1:16

a Acts 24:17

[i]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ga 2:1-10). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

c Lev 12:3; Acts 15:5; 1 Cor 7:18; Gal 2:11, 14; 5:2f

a Acts 15:24

b Acts 1:15; 15:3, 22, 32

c Lev 12:3; Acts 15:5; 1 Cor 7:18; Gal 2:11, 14; 5:2f

d Acts 6:14

1 Lit not a little

a Acts 15:7

b Gal 2:2

c Acts 11:30; 15:4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4

a Acts 20:38; 21:5; Rom 15:24; 1 Cor 16:6, 11; 2 Cor 1:16; Titus 3:13; 3 John 6

b Acts 11:19

c Acts 14:27; 15:4, 12

d Acts 1:15; 15:22, 32

a Acts 11:30; 15:6, 22, 23; 16:4

b Acts 14:27; 15:12

a Acts 5:17; 24:5, 14; 26:5; 28:22

b Matt 3:7; Acts 26:5

c 1 Cor 7:18; Gal 2:11, 14; 5:2f

a 2 Cor 11:14

1 Or other than, more than

2 Gr anathema

b Rom 9:3

a Acts 18:23

b Rom 16:17

1 Or other than, more than

2 Gr anathema

c Rom 9:3

[ii]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ga 1:8-9). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

a Acts 11:30; 15:4, 22, 23; 16:4

1 Lit see about

2 Lit word

a Acts 15:2

1 Lit from days of old

b Acts 10:19f

c Acts 20:24

a Acts 1:24

b Acts 2:4; 10:44, 47

a Acts 10:28, 34; 11:12

b Acts 10:43

a Acts 5:9

b Matt 23:4; Gal 5:1

a Rom 3:24; 5:15; 2 Cor 13:14; Eph 2:5–8

a Acts 14:27; 15:3, 4

b John 4:48

[iii]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ac 15:6-12). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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