Paul Goes to Jerusalem to Meet With Church Leaders

In the old provincial town of Saumur in France, there stood an ancient Roman Catholic Church of St. Peter. At its entrance was a placard challenging young men to enter the ministry. It read: “There are just four days in anyone’s life: birth, confirmation, marriage, and death … More


False teachers seemed to follow Paul everywhere he went. No sooner had he given out the gospel and people believed, than false teachers tried to discredit Paul’s message and challenge his authority.  Paul’s co-workers in the Gospel were Barnabas, a circumcised Jew who was a great encourager to Paul and Titus, a Gentile Christian who had never submitted to circumcision but was genuinely saved.

Fourteen years after Paul’s conversion he goes to Jerusalem to meet with the church leaders seeking to get their endorsement of his ministry to the Gentiles (vv. 1-6). The fourteen years mentioned were probably calculated from his time of conversion. The men who evaluated Paul’s ministry were James (the half brother of Jesus), Cephas (Peter) and John who were the main pillars of the Church. After listening to his presentation they recognized that God had given different areas of ministry to different men. In this case there is only one Gospel but two different areas of ministry. James, Peter, and John would go to the Jews of the circumcision (v. 7) and Paul along with Barnabas would go to the Gentiles of the un-circumcision or heathen (vv. 7-9). Only one stipulation was made,  and that was that they were to remember the poor, which was the very thing they were eager to do anyway (v. 10).

Compromise is an important element in getting along with others but we should never compromise the truth of God’s Word. As a Christian we need to understand that:

  1. Every member in God’s family is important.
  2. Everyone is gifted and prompted by the Lord to reach different kinds of people
  3. Everyone who knows the Lord needs our acceptance.


It is great to have someone in our life that has accepted and approved of what we are doing for the Lord? I can think of several people in my life who fits this description. I need to make sure that I have expressed my appreciation to these people.

Galatians 2:1-10 (English Standard Version)

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 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. But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 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-- to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. 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. 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 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 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. Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

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