Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Living Free as a Bondslave #3

Galatians 2:1-2 (CSB) - "Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. I went up according to a revelation and presented to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those recognized as leaders. I wanted to be sure I was not running, and had not been running, in vain."

Paul is building his argument about our being able to live free as a bondslave. He starts with his experience with the Apostles in Jerusalem (2:1-10).

After 14 years Paul returned to Jerusalem with Barnabus and Titus. He sought to confer with the Apostles about his ministry to the Gentiles. He discussed his revelation from God because he did not want to run in vain. Some see a descrepency here between the treatment of Titus and Timothy over the issue of circumcision (v.3). But there is no conflict here. Titus was a Gentile ministering to Gentiles. Timothy was part Jew, and ministered to Jews. Paul is not wishy-washy; he saw the importance of removing any hindrances to the message of the Gospel.

Paul was not concerned with men’s status (v.6). He saw that there were different ministries given by God. (v.7,8), so they granted the ministry that God had given him was valid (v.9). we must be careful not to focus on status – but remember that everyone needs Christ (v.10).

Paul continues to discuss the  importance of understanding where the legalizers distorted the Gospel (v.4-5). He called them the “false brethren” – Greek “Pseudadelphos” - one who ostentatiously professes to be a Christian, but is destitute of Christian knowledge and piety. Their purpose was to distort true “liberty” – Greek “Eleutheria” – the liberty to do or to omit things having no relationship to salvation. we must remember that true liberty is living as we should not as we please. To move from this true liberty to put oneself under the bondage of the Law. Paul says he did not yield for even one moment.

We have seen here Paul’s experience with the Apostles in Jerusalem, tomorrow we will read about Paul's experience with Peter in Antioch.

Prayer: Gracious and Wonderful Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that You saved me to set me free - free from the bondage of the law, sin, and death. I want to live free as a bondslave every day of my life. Amen.

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