Devotional Ruminations: Galatians 2:1-10

My devotional ruminations are just that–devotional thoughts that come from my personal time in Scripture. These ruminations include basic observations and questions (some of which will remain unanswered).  I read Galatians 2:1-10 this morning.

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 (Galatians 2:1-10 ESV).

Here are a few observations I took away from this passage.  I was impressed by six characteristics in Paul’s life.

  1. Commission.  Paul was driven to carry out the commission given to him by Christ.  “…in order to make sure that I was not running or had not run in vain” (v. 2).  Paul was committed to his Christ-given commission.
  2. Conviction.  Paul was held by the unwavering truth of the gospel. “to them we did not yield is submission even for a moment so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you” (v. 5).  Paul was driven by unwavering gospel conviction.
  3. Courage.  Paul’s gospel conviction led to courage.  “…what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality” (v. 6).  Paul wasn’t wrongly swayed by influential people.
  4. Calling.  Paul had a very clear and compelling sense of calling on his life.  It was specific.  “I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised” (v. 7).
  5. Community.  Paul recognized that he had co-laborers in his gospel work.  “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” (v. 9).
  6. Compassion. Paul was a man driven by conviction yet he was compassionate. “Only they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do” (v. 10).

These characteristics remind me of the kind of intentional and missional life that grow out of a person who holds to and is held by the gospel.

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