Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren 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), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
But from those who seemed to be something—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. But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.
DEFENDING THE WORK OF THE GOSPEL
- God directed Paul to Jerusalem.
- God directed Paul to protect the work of the Gospel. “Faith in Jesus Christ = salvation.”
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:6-8 – For when we were still without strength, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
DEFENDING THE GOSPEL BEFORE FALSE BELIEVERS
- Titus – example of salvation by grace alone.
- False believers planted in the church.
- False believers teaching bondage.
DEFENDING THE GOSPEL BEFORE ALL
- God has no favorites.
Acts 10:34-35 – …In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
Romans 10:12-13 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
- Gospel is not to be added to.
DEFENDING EACH MAN’S SPECIAL CALL TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL
- James, Peter, John – to the Jews.
- Paul, Barnabas – to the Gentiles.