GRACE: NOT BY MAN
No Place for False Brethren – Galations 2:1-5
Remembering that this epistle is written to a church which has been invaded by teachers of a legalistic gospel; which is no gospel; we will see what Paul says concerning the “False brethren”.
Remember the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; by which we are changed from death to life (1 Cor. 15:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:1). Believing and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work is the work of the gospel, unto salvation; not the works of man that works salvation.
Verse 1 – There is some question as to when this “fourteen” year period begins. Was it from the time of Paul’s salvation experience, from the time of his last visit to Jerusalem? Were there times between when he was in Jerusalem. Since it is not clear, the matter is not dealing with the time, but the message of the gospel.
Jerusalem is the home of the “Mother church” from where the gospel of Christ Jesus began. Barnabas was Paul’s defender at Jerusalem previously, and became his traveling companion and partner in ministry. Titus was a “child of the faith” to Paul, and was a testimony against the legalist in the church.
Verse 2 – Paul was one who moved by the direction and leading of the Holy Spirit. Though the Holy Spirit is not mentioned personally in these verses we must assume that the “revelation” of which Paul speaks is through the Holy Spirit.
This is the second time “revelation” (apokalupsis ap-ok-al’-oop-sis From G601; disclosure: – appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation. FROM e-Sword Strongs Dictionary). It also is related to the word our Lord uses (apokaluptō ap-ok-al-oop’-to From G575 and G2572; to take off the cover, that is, disclose: – reveal.) telling Peter “flesh and blood hath not ‘revealed’ it unto thee, but My Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).
Verse 3 – It could almost be seen that Paul was illustrating through Titus that salvation has nothing to do with “Circumcision” or works of the flesh. They did not compell Titus to be circumcised by Jewish rite.
No one can be saved by the works of the law or of the flesh (Gal. 2:16). No one can claim that “Jesus is Lord” except it be given them by the Holy Spirit [Revelation] (1 Cor. 12:3). That was Titus’s confession, and the confession of all who are saved.
Verse 4 – There were “False brethren” who came in secretly; through stealth, deceit, lying; which seems to imply that they are knowingly deceiving, and perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Church is made up of a redeemed people. False brethern would be those who have not been redeemed. Hypocrits professing to be Christian. Their message added to the gospel, thus, perverting the gospel.
The Christian has a liberty that is not possible by the keeping of the law, moral and good living, etc. It is a liberty available only through the cross of Jesus Christ. Those without this liberty seek to bring others into their bondage.
Verse 5 – Paul makes it quite clear that he gives them no place in the gospel of Christ. He stands against them and what they preach and teach. Do we Christians of today have the privilege which Paul did not? Do we have the privilege of allowing false teachers to lead people astray with legalist approaches to the gospel? Requiring baptism for salvation? Requiring communion for salvation? Requiring holy living for salvation?
We have no such privilege. We who are followers of Christ have an obligation to refute, and preach and teach against the “false brethren”; those who pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ. We do that in order that the “Gospel might continue with you”. The word “continue” means to remain permanently, stay permanently.
-Tim A. Blankenship