Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Galatians 2:1-5 (NIV)
Paul Accepted by the Apostles
2 Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
As we read this section of Galatians, we see that Church politics were alive and well, even in the first church! As these early Christians learned what is meant to follow Christ, they came up with questions. For example, as many new Christians had previously been Jews, do all followers of Jesus need to follow Jewish customs too? After all, Jesus did. At every turn, Paul returns to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He rests on the grace of God. He recalls that there is nothing that we can do to make ourselves more acceptable to God. God has chosen us, we are his, a new creation. In the midst of life, we too will have questions about what it means to follow Jesus. As we wrestle and debate, study and struggle with this, let us never lose sight of Christ. Thank God, this day, that you are his chosen child, a new creation!