Galatians 2 shows us a picture of the man who was Paul. A bold, strong, passionate person who spoke in power and without fear.
The church in Galatia was dividing itself into two groups: Jews and Gentiles. As if there were two groups of Christians instead of one family of God, a family saved by faith in Christ Jesus. The leaders were willing to allow this in the name of “keeping peace” in the church.
Paul was not afraid to address this false teaching. It didn’t matter to him who was teaching it or why they were practicing this separation.
Paul was going to stand for the truth of the gospel no matter what.
Galatians 2:4-6 says, “This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message.”
He wasn’t going to give in and it made no difference to him who was teaching falsely.
As he said in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Paul wasn’t out to please men! We can learn so much from that truth of pleasing God more than anyone else. Caring about what He thinks, not what men think.
Paul had a boldness in sharing the gospel. He spoke the truth with passion. Paul knew that the gospel was the only thing with the power to save us from our sin and to him, that was worth defending at all costs. He didn’t want to see the church divided in two, but united in one vital truth!
Paul even had the courage to call Peter out in front of all those gathered in the room that day! In verse 14 Paul says, “When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?”
Paul ends this chapter with a very passionate view and personal testimony of how he sees his relationship with God and his responsibility to following God’s path for his life.
“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Paul no longer lived for himself or for other men. He lived for God alone. He lived to proclaim the truth of the gospel with a strength and boldness that only God can provide.
Are you living with that kind of boldness and desire for the truth of the Word of God? Does it show in your life and how you present the gospel to others?