Sunday, February 7, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Galatians Part 4 – Ordained by God, Accepted by Apostles

Paul's Epistles - Galatians
Part 4 – Ordained by God, Accepted by Apostles
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Ø  Began looking at Paul’s ministry in 2011 starting with the beginning of his journey in Christ. The foundation and start of the story found in the book of Acts.

Ø  Examined Acts 4 - 20 in 2012

Ø  Finished Acts and selected chapters of Revelation in 2013

Ø  Studied Romans & started I Corinthians in 2014

Ø  Then completed I Corinthians & II Corinthians in 2015

109 sermons and nearly four years later, I pray you are beginning to get a grasp on the life and ministry of Paul, as well as get an understanding from the book of Acts how a church is to operate, and through Paul’s letters, see how we are to correct the issues we face in a modern church.

Leaving II Corinthians, we have begun looking at Galatians.

If you remember, the Galatian church was founded in a land taken by the Gaul’s, whose historical persona was to embrace change, even look for it.

Saul met the Lord on the road to Damascus (Acts 9) and was converted and later the Lord changed Saul of Tarsus to Paul. (Around Acts 13:9)

Paul did NOT go to Jerusalem to consult the Apostles, but to Arabia, then back to Damascus. After 3 years, Paul went to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas (Peter), staying there 15 days. Then he went to Syria and Cilicia.

After another 14 years Paul returned to Jerusalem.

17+ years following Christ before returning to Jerusalem.

Today we will read how Paul was Ordained by God, and Accepted (or his ordination by God recognized) by the Apostles.
 Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 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. On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b] For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Cephas[c] and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

a. Paul is told in revelation by God to go to Jerusalem to speak to the council
                                                                   i. Revelation means revealed by God through Spirit/Word/Messenger
                                                                ii. The Jerusalem Council was the Apostles home base of operation

b. Paul presented the Gospel he preached among the Gentiles to the Apostles
                                                                   i. This allowed him to be sure they were on the “same page” as far as the Gospel was concerned, as well as reveal to them he was a true convert and believer.
                                                                ii. Paul mentions the issue false believers were pushing about circumcision
                                                             iii. This was just one of many issues the false believers were trying to push among the believing churches
                                                               iv. Salvation by works, adhering to the Laws, a form of ritual-based salvation and belief which exalts itself against Christ and salvation by Grace

c. Paul showed his calling by God to preach Salvation to the Gentiles
                                                                   i. Paul’s message was saved by Grace, not works or the Law
                                                                ii. It was fully accepted by the Apostles at the Jerusalem Counil

a. The matter of circumcision arose because of false believers
                                                                   i. Paul states false converts infiltrated the ranks to SPY on the freedom believers have in Christ and to make them slaves to “works”
                                                                ii. People who insist on believing keeping the Laws justifies you are denying Christ and the work of the Cross
                                                             iii. Denying Christ and the Work of the Cross will always result in bondage!

b. Paul did not give into them one iota, unwilling to taint the true message
                                                                   i. The truth of the Gospel of Grace was preserved

c. Paul refused to compromise the Gospel of Jesus Christ
                                                                   i. The Gospel message IS Justification by Faith, Saved by Grace

a. The false brethren were held in high esteem
                                                                   i. Whatever they were, makes no difference to me, God is no respecter of persons
1. We are all the same
2. Sinner and Saint
a. The ONLY difference between you and someone going to Gahenna is Jesus Christ
                                                                ii. Paul says, they add nothing to my message
                                                             iii. What more can be added to a message that was revealed to Paul by Jesus Christ???

b. However, they recognized God’s work in me
                                                                   i. Just as God called Peter to minister to the Jew, God called Paul to minister the Gospel to the Gentile

c. The Apostles (esteemed pillars) gave Paul the right hand of fellowship 
                                                                   i. The Apostles recognized Paul’s calling, conversion and ministry and accepted him.
                                                                ii. It took Paul 17+ years to get to this point with the Jerusalem council
                                                             iii. God’s timing on the meeting
                                                               iv. The Apostle told Paul to continue sharing the Gospel as he presented it to the Gentiles
                                                                  v. Then asked that he not forget the poor, which Paul said he was eager to remember the poor all along!

CONCLUSION - The poor to be remembered?

After accepting Paul and his ministry, the “poor” the Jerusalem Council asked Paul to remember were the Jew-believer’s still in Jerusalem.

Since Jerusalem was controlled by the Sanhedrin, those Jews who converted to Christianity were shunned by the religious sects.

A Jew could not work within Jerusalem, or own land, or purchase items from Jews.

It was very difficult to live there, however, the Jerusalem Council was called to minister to the Jew, Peter especially, to share the Gospel message and FREE those captive to the Law, giving them salvation which can only be found in the Messiah they were taught of and waiting for, Jesus Christ.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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