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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.”—Galatians 2:6 (NKJV)
The Galatian Christians had a problem, a big problem! They had been brought under the sway of people who were adding a lethal dose of legalism to God’s gospel. These people were known as Judaizers, because they were infusing the gospel message with elements of Judaic Law. As a result, they were drifting further and further from the truth and the freedom found through Jesus Christ.
Paul set out to correct this problem by writing this letter to them, but he faced an uphill challenge because the Galatians had another problem. Under the influence of these Judaizers, they had come to disregard Paul as a legitimate apostle of God. This is why he devotes the opening of this epistle to establishing his authority as a teacher of truth by weaving in his personal history.
That’s where we’re at when we come to this section of Galatians. Paul is retelling how he went up to Jerusalem to meet with the other apostles and leaders of the Church to determine what was essential to the gospel message.
Paul shares that he wasn’t in awe of all these other men, because God doesn’t play favorites or show partiality to anyone based on their perceived status. He wasn’t going to treat them any differently than God would in order to “get ahead” in the spiritual ranks. He didn’t need to, because God revealed Paul’s calling and authority to everyone: “When they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter . . . they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised” (Galatians 2:7-9 NKJV).
In other words, God made it clear that Paul was “His man” to take the gospel message to the predominately non-Jewish regions of the world. Paul didn’t need to promote himself, because the Lord did that for him. All the other leaders of the Church recognized this apostolic authority in Paul’s life—so why didn’t the Galatians?
The takeaway truth for us here is this: We don’t need to be preoccupied with promoting ourselves to others. God will do that for us as we walk close to Him. He will be the one to reveal what others need to see in us—and He does a much better job of it than we ever could!
DIG: What two problems did the Galatians have?
DISCOVER: How did Paul set about establishing his authority as an apostle?
DO: Apply this passage practically to your life.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.