Google+ 10/17/13 Gentile Friendly!

Galatians 2:1-3

 

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.

 

In part four of our six-part devotion series entitled, "Revealed," the apostle Paul teaches us a very important lesson about God's revelations.  We all remember that Paul got his "calling" message directly from God on the road to Damascus.  There was no mistaking the meaning of this message, or God's intent for Paul.  God even chose to physically blind Paul so that he could focus entirely on what was being said to him.  On Paul's second mission trip, he returns to Jerusalem to meet with the disciples.  Many people interpret this passage of Scripture incorrectly.  Paul has not come to ask permission from the disciples to execute his calling from God.  That would be a huge mistake.  Often when God calls, what He has to say to all of us is not necessarily the most popular thing that we could be doing.  In this case, the largest persecutor of Christians has been asked to evangelize and disciple Christians and Gentiles!  God knew that Paul was uniquely equipped to witness to the Gentile population.  Paul was preaching the gospel to MANY Gentiles.  God and Jesus had told Paul that the Gentiles did not need to be circumcised but he knew this was a potential problem with the disciples and the traditional Jewish leaders.  The Bible says that Paul communicated this fact to the disciples. The Greek word used for "communicated" in this case means to "lay before."  Paul knew that if the apostles did not understand and support what he was doing for God, his mission would take much longer and have more obstacles.  I often go to my "apostles" to do the same thing Paul did.  I tell them what I have heard from God and ask them if they will be "onboard" as I execute God's plan.  Paul teaches us that communicating, in this way, about God's revelations makes for a stronger and more effective bond between Christians.  Once again, it is not an asking of permission but a sharing of God's vision.  As a final endorsement of Paul's communication, the apostles put their "money where their mouth is" and approve Paul's traveling companion Titus, and do not force him to be circumcised.  We should think about this departure from Jewish tradition to those that simply were not Jewish.  Because Jesus had died for our sins, some "old" rules were not necessary anymore.  Paul knew that forcing this "old school" type of thought might get in the way of God's true message.  We would be well advised to remember this as we evangelize the lost.  Ritualistic religion for ritual sake will get in the way of people accepting Christ.  Paul never watered down the message.  At God's instruction, Paul just did what we all should do.  Paul's true revelation was to make God's message, "Gentile Friendly!"