Battle For The Gospel: Galatians 2:1-5
“1) Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2) It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. 3) But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4) But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5) But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.” Galatians‬ ‭2:1-5‬
As mentioned earlier, scholars believe Paul was referring here to the Jerusalem Council as recorded in Acts 15:1-35. The sole purpose of the Council was to evaluate the gospel preached by Paul and the doctrine of justification by faith alone.
The false brethren Paul referred to in verse 4 were the many Jewish proselytes who taught that Gentiles had to keep the whole Law to be saved. (See Acts 15:5) In practice this meant that John 3:16-17 and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross accomplished nothing. People still earned their own salvation by keeping the Law and being self righteous. The gospel was totally nullified and Jesus suffered in vain.
According to the story line of Acts 15, the debate became very heated. Many testimonies were shared of Gods work among the Gentiles. At length Peter himself stood up and shared his story of the first converts among the Gentiles. (Acts 15:7-11) He most likely rehearsed the story recorded in Acts 10 about Cornelius and the gathering in his home hearing the gospel and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
In the end, truth prevailed and the doctrine of justification by faith was affirmed as the cornerstone of the gospel. Personal faith in Jesus Christ was declared as the sole basis of salvation. Take time to study Acts 15:1-35 in its entirely.
Why is this important? It settles the question; “Did Jesus purchase our salvation by dying on the cross for our sins or do we earn our salvation through good works and self righteousness?” Until you settle this issue you will never have assurance of salvation and will forever be striving to earn Gods acceptance. Instead of a vibrant personal relationship with Jesus Christ you will forever be stuck in empty religion. Instead of walking in the Spirit and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit, you will be defeated by you own flesh and left in bondage to sin. ( See Galatians 5:1-26) The book of Galatians was ground zero in this battle for truth, freedom and the gospel.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global