Galatians 2:1-10 Study Guide
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.
Main Idea: As the message and the messenger come under attack, Paul and the other apostles unite on there being one true gospel and the need to care for the poor.
Overview: In this section, the Apostle Paul describes how even though he received his message independent of the other Jerusalem apostles, both gospel messages are identical. Paul recalls his visit to the Jerusalem apostles fourteen years after his conversion. At this meeting, the Jerusalem Apostles verified Paul's gospel, and asked Paul to remember the poor.
Observation and Interpretation
- In Galatians 2:1-2, we read that Paul went to meet face to face with the Jerusalem apostles to settle an issue. Why was it essential that he did that?
- Who are these "false brothers" (Galatians 2:4-5), and how are they recognized? Who should be on alert to protect the local church from these types of individuals? And what should be the response to the false brothers?
- Paul emphasizes the importance that neither his gospel or apostolic credentials depended on the approval of men, even these influential men. What does that say about Paul? And what does that say about the gospel?
- God entrusts Peter and Paul to take the gospel to specific groups of people (Galatians 2:7). To whom has God entrusted you to share the gospel with? What are some ways in which you can reorient your life toward this calling?
- The themes of unity and partnership are vital components of fruitful gospel ministry. How are they significant in Galatians 2:9 and for us today?
- How does the gospel help you see yourself more accurately? How does proper perspective on our own desperate need for God cause us to have compassion for the poor?
Prayer Point: Pray that you would be a person marked by faithful gospel proclamation and compassion for the poor.