DAY 6 - GALATIANS
March 6, 2023
Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too. I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing. And they supported me and did not even demand that my companion Titus be circumcised, though he was a Gentile. Even that question came up only because of some so-called believers there—false ones, really—who were secretly brought in. They sneaked in to spy on us and take away the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations. But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you.
When it came to issues of truth, Paul would not give in. He was fighting for freedom in Christ. The words “free” and “freedom” occur eleven times in Galatians. The first instance is in these verses. But what does “freedom in Christ” mean? Galatians 5:1 says, “Christ has truly set us free.” Believers are “truly free” to live for the things of God. Believers can live in freedom from the law, and they can live in freedom from the consequences and power of sin. Christ’s death on the cross freed us to become the people our Creator designed us to be - vessels of His love.
Another theme in these verses is unity. Paul was going to continue his mission, but here he sought the unity of Christ among the nations. So Paul brought the gospel and a real-live Gentile (Titus) before the Jerusalem apostles. How would they treat him? Would they demand that he be circumcised, or would they accept him as he was - as a brother in Christ? Today, so far removed from this situation, we find it difficult to understand the enormity of this event. This was a major point in the history of the Church. And the gospel prevailed! Titus was not forced to be circumcised because they all agreed Jesus Christ saved him by faith alone. It was not a mark on his body that justified; it was the marks on Jesus’ body that justified. It was the person and work of the Savior who made his people right with God.
1. Many Christ-followers acknowledge that Jesus has set them free, yet they find it difficult to experience freedom in their daily lives. Do you think you are experiencing true freedom in Christ?
2. Consider how Paul handled the strife in Galatians 2:1-5. What aspects of his fight for unity are worthy of imitation?