This evening we will be reading through Galatians 2:1-14. Within this passage, Paul confirms his authority. Paul’s opponents claimed that they, not Paul, spoke with the authority of the original Jerusalem apostles (those directly commissioned by Jesus at the Ascension). In defense of his authority, Paul appeals to these same apostles in two ways. First, Paul points out that the Jerusalem apostles affirmed the gospel that Paul preached and that Paul and they preached the same gospel. v.7. Therefore, Paul’s opponents have it wrong. Second, however, Paul is clear that his authority does not derive from the Jerusalem apostles, but rather he and those apostles are of equal authority. The Jerusalem apostles extended Paul the hand of friendship, but they did not commission him. v.9. Therefore, Paul is proclaiming that 1) the Jerusalem apostles from whom his opponents allegedly derive their authority agree with Paul and 2) Paul’s authority is equal to the Jerusalem apostles and not derivative of that authority, unlike Paul’s opponent’s authority.
Also, within this passage, we see that the social gospel of caring for the poor and disposed is inseparable from the gospel that Paul proclaims. At the time the Jerusalem apostles extended the hand of friendship to Paul, the only thing that they requested of him, is that he remember the poor. Gal. 2:10. In his Commentary on this verse, Martin Luther writes that “After preaching the Gospel, the task of a true and faithful pastor is to remember the poor. Where the true church is there will be the poor.” He goes on to state that “True religion is always found in need, for it is Christ who complains that he is hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, and sick. (Matt. 25:42)” Throughout his ministry to the Gentiles, Paul never failed to forget the poor of Jerusalem. See, Acts 24:17, Rom. 18:25, 2 Cor. 8-9,
Dinner is at 6. The menu is Italian sausage and gnocchi. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.
Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.2 Corinthians 9:7-8