Galatians 2:1-14

Fighting For The truth Of The Gospel


Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

A)Those who died fighting for our FREEDOM !!!!  Patrick Henry declared Give me liberty or give me death !!!!


B) Someone once said: This will only remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."

1)Paul the Apostle would have agreed with those Statements: Paul too was a Fighter – Fighting for the Truth of the gospel & Freedom in Christ !!!


C) To Paul, his spiritual liberty in Christ was worth far more than his popularity or even his physical security.

1) He was willing to fight for that liberty.


D) The first part of Galatians Ch. 2 / Chronicles two of Paul’s battles

1)Paul's first battle  for Christian liberty was at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15/ Gal 2:1-10 gives us some details of that occasion


E) The FOCUS in that Battle was the CONTENT of the gospel message concerning how Gentiles could be SAVED !!!

1)   What is the message that we are going to Preach to them!!


 Paul’s 2nd battle mentioned here in this Chapter was a conflict he had with the Apostle Peter in Antioch

A)The focus in that Battle was concerning the CONDUCT of those who believe that the gentiles could be saved 


B)Had Paul been unwilling to wage these battles, the church in the first century might have become a Jewish sect, preaching a mixture of Law & grace

1)But because of Paul's courage, the Gospel was kept free from legalism, and it was carried to the Gentiles with great blessing.     RD v.1-10


Now Paul is making reference here to an event that took place in Acts Ch.15 – Where he made this formal visit to Jerusalem

A)And event that has been called the Jerusalem Council –


B) Where The apostles & Church leaders met together heard testimony from Paul , Barnabas Peter , James

1)They meet to settle ONCE & FOR ALL  the dispute concerning how gentiles (non Jewish people) were to be saved


C) Problem: Judiazers were saying –Believe in  Jesus & become a Jew circumcision { Undermining Paul’s ministry & Challenging his authority


 Now one of the ways that these false teachers did this was to hint that Paul’s  gospel was different from Peter’s & the  other apostles

A)They would show up in the Churches claiming to be delegates from Jerusalem – special authority of the apostles


B) Paul is only preaching part of the truthYes you need to believe in Jesus but you also need to follow the rituals of Judiasm

1) THE RESULT: They were troubling the Believers – perverting the gospel and disrupting the Unity of the Leadership!!!


So in Acts Ch.15 Paul and the other apostles meet in Jerusalem to settle this dispute once and for all!!

A)After hearing the different testimonies and reviewing the scriptures and what Christ had taught them – their conclusion was this



1) Salvation is by God’s Grace & thru faith in Jesus Christ ALONE!!

1)   It was the official ruling – Letters were sent from the leadership to the Churches  throughout the region – Set them Free !!!!


C)Here in Gal 2:1-10  Paul is telling us about that event & the outcome of that meeting!! 


Notice who went with Paul to this meeting: v.1 Barnabas & Titus A)These 2 men would be living illustrations of that the grace of God was for everyone!!! Both saved / Spirit filled / Both being used by God


B) Barnabas was JEWISH : His name means  "son of encouragement," and you will always find Barnabas encouraging somebody.

1)When the Gospel came to the Gentiles in Antioch, it was Barnabas who was sent to encourage them in their faith (Acts 11).


C) It was Barnabas who enlisted Paul to help minister at the church in Antioch and the two of them worked together, in teaching / helping the poor 

1)   Barnabas accompanied Paul on his first missionary trip (Acts 13-14) and had seen God's blessings on the Gospel that they preached.


Titus on the other hand was a Grk ( a Gentile believer who worked with Paul and apparently was won to Christ through the Paul’s ministry.

A) And Titus assisted Paul by going to some of the most difficult churches to help them solve their problems !


B) Now Both of these men were saved – Both were spirit filled / Both were being used in mighty ways by the Lord { One was Jewish / other Gentile

1) So these were the men that Paul brought with him to Jerusalem for this meeting – Barnabas to testify & Encourage & Titus to be "exhibit A"


C) Crash dummy commercials – See the Damage run a car into a Wall at 50mph – Well Titus was Paul’s Crash dummy – wall of Legalism



Result: Passed with flying colors – v. 3 Titus was not compelled to be circumcised  - they agreed that boy is saved!!!






Now a question some people might have at this point: Is why should we be so concerned about a meeting  that happened 2,000 yrs ago

A)And Why did God think it so important to preserve it in His word – that we know the outcome of that meeting and Paul’s relationship to the apostles?


B) Because: The Lord wants us to understand – the truth THAT the gospel is ONE – There is only ONE MESSAGE –

1)it doesn’t vary from People to people or from Place to Place { Same message for Israel & Africa / America & Russia


C) The Message is One message & it is for ALL TIMES – Unchanging and it is a Message FOR ALL PEOPLE 

1)The Lord wants us to understand that & so that we REALIZE this message needs to be Maintained & if need be FOUGHT FOR !!


D) You see the Problem that Paul describes in v.4 is one that has continued in the Church to this present day 

4 And this occurred because of false brethren (Legalist – Judaizers ) secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage)



Throughout the history of the Church there have been those who have been bent toward Legalism in some form {Rules & Regs / do’s & don’ts A)They come into a congregation: They see the freedom that believers are enjoying in Christ & it bugs them


B) There is that saying: Misery loves company – TRUE – legalist are miserable – trying to toe the line / trying to earn their way / keep rules 1) Legalism breeds 3 attitudes – The first is Pride – Look what I am doing – I am righteous because – reading / praying / witnessing { or WHATEVER


C) The next thing Legalism Breeds is a Judgmental Attitude –

1)I am better than them – because I do all these things & if they really want to be spiritual they need to become more like me & do what I am doing

The 3rd attitude that Legalism breeds is one of Condemnation

A)Those who can’t toe the line – always feel condemned because they are not measuring up


B) Paul says the whole thing puts people back into Bondage

1)   The Bondage of pride for those who are attaining – the Bondage of a Critical spirit that lacks love


C) And the Bondage of Condemnation & Frustration/ because  when don’t measure up you feel – LOSER

1)   And there is also that sense of never knowing when you know you have done enough –


See the Legalist is bound up in their rules and Regs / Christianity is a drudgery for them – Survival of the Fittest { Survivors of Christianity

A)They come in contact with other believers who are not fasting every week or praying 5 hrs a day – and they are so happy


B) They are just enjoying the work of the Lord in their lives – The legalist gets mad – I need to fix him/her

1) Steal their Joy / take away their Freedom / put them into Bondage


C) SO the Lord preserves this account for us – Knowing full well that this would continue to be a Problem & a struggle in the Church

1)   Varying degrees of Legalism and the Freedom that we have in Christ


D) Those attitudes can subtly creep into the Church – things that we are doing that Subtly become duty rather than DEVOTION

1) Things that God meant to be  responses to Salvation – become the Requirements for Salvation: Baptism / Church Membership / Bible study


E) How we dress / What we eat & drink or don’t eat & drink –



 So after his brief first visit to Jerusalem that we talked about last time in Ch.1 Paul goes back 14 yrs later for this meeting: The Result:

A) V.6-10 Paul and Barnabas are given the right hand of fellowship


B) This means that they recognized that they and Paul had been entrusted with the same gospel

1) The only difference was that they had a different spheres of influence 


C) The apostles in Jerusalem were ministering mainly to the Jews while Paul and Barnabas were ministering mainly to the Gentiles

1) Preaching the same MESSAGE & experiencing the same results – People’s lives were being Changed !!!


 Notice Paul’s statement in v. 6 But from those who seemed to be something [APOSTLES]-- whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man -- for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. [They didn’t add to his message]

A)Now understand here that Paul is not being disrespectful – but he is making a point – God doesn’t show Favoritism to any one


B) We are on the same Plane – God loves you as much as he loves Billy G

Chuck Smith /Michael W Smith / Jon Courson


C) And a persons Position or Popularity is not more important that they truth


D)Which leads us into our discussion of Paul’s next battle – V.11-16 where Paul has to rebuke the Big Kuhuna himself – PETER


E)This is no doubt one of the most tense & dramatic episodes in the NT. Here are two leading apostles of Jesus face to face in an open conflict

1)   RD V.11-16





C) Well that is what is going on here: the scene shifts from Jerusalem the capital city of the Jews / Home of Judaism

1) To Antioch: the chief city of Syria where the Gentile mission began and where the disciples were first called Christians


 Problem: When Peter first arrived in Antioch he was hanging out with the Gentiles –eating fellowshipping

A)But then these men came to Antioch claiming to be from James and the boys in Jerusalem –w/ this  message: circumcised to be saved


B) And Peter with drew from the gentiles and would no longer eat with them

1)   Thus Peter’s offense  was not about CONTENT / it was in his CONDUCT– his behavior was a contradiction of the truth of the gospel


C) See the gospel makes it clear there are no distinctions between people Jews / Gentiles - / Men / Women ( first revealed Samaritan woman)

1)   God is not a respecter of persons / Not concerned about – Color or race


D) All are sinners/ all need a Savior – Jesus died for ALL MEN – the world

1)   The Cross puts us equal plane – Rich poor / Educated / uneducated / White black/ Mexican / Asian doesn’t matter – Brothers Sisters


E) By separating himself from them Peter was denying that truth of the Gospel – IT WAS FOR ALL !!!!



Grace is risky – Accept sinners

A)Jesus Chose Levi – Tax Collector – Simon Zealot / Zach. Tax collector

 Mary – Prostitute demon possessed


B) That is what Grace does – And it is contagious – People loving one another dropping guards

1)   Grace –looks past the background / looks past the history / looks past the perceptions/ Faults / past sins/ forgiven / New 


C) Grace Sees a person that God loves – Loved enough to give his Son to die for that person !!!

1)   When People are captured by the grace of God – Contagious affect –

Paul – said – He was indebted to grks & Barbarians


D) So Grace is CONTAGIOUS –


But Legalism is also contagious – Notice that Peter’s actions influenced the rest of the Jews & even Barnabas/

A)Paul says v.13 they played the Hypocrite- Carried away by their Hypocrisy – No longer being straightforward about the truth 


B)The Greek term behind the word hypocrisy originally referred to an actor wearing a mask to indicate a particular mood or type of character.

1)A hypocrite is someone who, like a Greek actor, masks his true self.


C) Peter and the other Jewish believers who withdrew with him knew that what they were doing was wrong,

1)But they were intimidated by the Judaizers into going against the truth of their convictions and consciences.


D) In seeking to please those hypocrites they became hypocrites themselves, and in so doing brought heartache to their Gentile brothers and to their Lord.

1)   And Paul couldn’t let them get away with that – The hearts of the Gentile believers was at Stake – so Paul had to confront Peter



From Peter’s failure at Antioch several important truths can be learned.

A)1st we learn that faithfulness involves more than believing the right doctrine. Right doctrine without right behavior always produces hypocrisy.


B) If the gospel doesn’t translate in our lives to a right Perception & treatment of others – It is worthless !!!!



2nd we learn that truth is more important than outward harmony and peace. Christian fellowship & unity are built on truth, never falsehood.

A)No matter what the benefit might seem to be from a human perspective, compromise can do nothing but weaken the church.


B)Peace that is preserved by compromising God’s truth is the pseudo-peace of the world and is not of God.

1) “The bond of peace” (Phil. 4:3) is not peace at any price but peace based on God’s Word and established by God’s Spirit.


3rd we see that situation ethics are ungodly ethics.

A)God’s Word, not a given human situation, determines what is right and wrong.


B)Christians do not make truth; we Obey truth!!!  And those who take a position that contradicts God’s word –

1)   It doesn’t matter who they are – they are Wrong !!!


C) Chuck Smith started teaching something – off base & mandating that the other Calvary Chapel’s follow suit – Change our Name !!!


4th we learn that falsehood is not to be ignored, regardless of the consequences that opposition to it may bring.

A)When the falsehood strikes at the heart of the gospel, as did the heresy of the Judaizers, opposition is all the more imperative.


B)Even leading Christians “who continue in sin” are to be rebuked and Paul said to Timothy in 1 Tim. 5:20

1) When you have to rebuke an Elder do it “in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning”.


C) End with this quote from Martin Luther

Let this then be the conclusion of all of this, that we will suffer our goods to be taken away, our name, our life, and all that we have; but the Gospel concerning our faith in Jesus Christ, we will never allow that to be wrestled from us.