Wednesday in the Thirty-First Week of Ordinary Time

Galatians 2:1-10

We Will Not Yield the Gospel

Paul insists that not only was the gospel he preached by revelation from God but that it was not until fourteen years after his conversion that he went up again to Jerusalem to meet with those who were apostles before him; that is, he had been preaching salvation by grace through faith and planting churches all of that time quite apart from any direction from the mother church in Jerusalem.  But Paul relates here that God revealed to him that he should make a second visit to Jerusalem and so he did.

Two things mattered to Paul: First and foremost was the gospel of Jesus Christ whereby men are saved.  We might even say that Paul had made this his reason for being.  What happened to him on that road to Damascus completely destroyed and recreated him, and he would never be the same.  But a strong second was Paul’s concern for the unity of the Church.  There was obviously a breach forming in the Church and that breach centered around Paul’s understanding of the gospel which he preached among the Gentiles, an understanding that he was sure was correct based upon the Old Testament and God’s revelation in Christ.  But Paul’s heart also longed for unity.  And so when we read that he “set before [the leaders] the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain,” Paul did not mean that he was seeking their stamp of approval on his gospel as if he would have stopped preaching if they had disapproved of it.  Indeed, he took Titus with him, a believing uncircumcised Greek to show that Gentiles could be Christians, too.  But Paul was desperate for unity around the gospel of Jesus Christ, and a rupture between the Jewish Church and the Gentile Church would hamper the proclamation of that gospel.

And so Paul never budged on the gospel, for when “false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you [Galatians].”  Even unity must be sacrificed for the cause of truth.  But bless the Lord that did not happen: The gospel preached by Paul and by the other apostles was the same, only they preached to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles.

And the gospel is still the same; it will never change.  But men do change.  Let us hold fast our profession and rejoice with those who do likewise.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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