Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Salvation By Grace, Not Works: Galatians 2

Theme: Salvation is by grace, not works.

1. Because The Gospel Proclaims It (1-2)
     B. This message did not come from man (1:11 - 2)

By refusing to circumcise Titus (1-5), giving Paul the right hand of fellowship (6-10), and receiving correction from Paul (11-21), the other apostles confirm the gospel of salvation by grace, through faith, apart from works, comes from God, not man.

They refused to circumcise Titus (1-5). Paul took Titus, an uncircumcised Greek, to Jerusalem with him. Not only did the other apostles (whom the Judaizers apparently set up as the authority for their false gospel) not circumcise Titus, but they and Paul refused to circumcise him when some false brethren insisted on it.

They gave Paul the right hand of fellowship (6-10). Far from teaching a gospel which adds human merit as a term for salvation, the apostles endorsed Paul's ministry to the Gentiles as being equal to Peter's ministry to the Jews.

They received correction from Paul (11-21). The OT law forbids Jews to eat certain kinds of food (Lev. 11:20-25; cf. John 4:9, 27). In Acts 10:10-16, Peter received a vision from God, in which he was instructed he could now eat this food. This was symbolic of the fact that God had opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles. From that time, Peter ate with Gentiles (cf. Acts 10:17 - 11:19). When certain men came from James, however, Peter withdrew himself from the Gentiles, causing dissension among the other apostles as well. Paul, however, confronted Peter over the matter, reminding him that all believers are justified by faith in Christ, not keeping the OT law (Gal. 2:15-21).

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The Gospel

Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).


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