Daily Devotional Wednesday 14th Octoberby William Moody
Paul Accepted by the Apostles
2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4 Yet because of 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—5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. 6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
Paul continues to share about his journey in ministry and how after fourteen years he returned to Jerusalem (v1). This visit to Jerusalem was clearly according to God’s will (v2) and for Paul it was to confirm that the message he shared was correct and his ministry not in vain. Behind this was the insistence of the Judaisers that Gentiles had to be circumcised to be saved; which was a clear denial of the Gospel of salvation by grace alone.
The fact that Titus didn’t need to be circumcised proved that it was not necessary for salvation (v3). The leaders of the Jerusalem church such as Peter (Cephas), James and John agreed that circumcision was not necessary as they all held to the same Gospel of grace (v6-9).
The problem arose in the Galatian church because of false teachers who had come in (v4). Their insistence on extra requirements made them sound so religious and spiritual, but in fact they were robbing believers of Gospel freedom and so Paul opposed them strongly (v5).
We need to be careful today of those who twist the Gospel or who add extra requirements to it. Many a young believer has been led astray and robbed of their joy through this. We need to be clear of the Gospel of grace alone.
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