Week 6: Church United
Titus being accepted as a Christian without being circumcised (2:3) may seem obvious to us today, but for the early church it was massively significant. It confirmed that the gospel is about faith in Christ, not our deeds.
The question now was: how would Paul get on with the Jerusalem leaders? Would they be able to work side by side?
Read Galatians 2:6-10
- As Paul met these church leaders, what did he remember (v 6)?
- What did they realise about Paul and his work (v 6-8)?
In verses 7-10 we’re seeing another massive moment for the church: there is unity among gospel proclaimers.
- How is this unity expressed here?
The unity we see here was not unity at all costs, but unity around gospel truth.
Unity is a precious thing: but it should not be at truth’s expense. Paul was willing to be disunited with those who preached a gospel of slavery to works, instead of the freedom that comes from faith in Jesus (v 5).
- Can you think of examples where the church ignored truth to stay united?
- What about where the church has agreed about the truth but allowed itself to be divided over other issues?
It was agreed that Paul should continue with his mission to the Gentiles, as the Jerusalem church focused on going to the Jews with God’s gospel message (v 9).
- What did the Jerusalem leaders ask of Paul (v 10)?
The Jewish churches were much poorer than the churches Paul was planting in wealthier, Gentile areas.
- Why did that make it particularly important that these Gentile churches should remember the poor, do you think?
A sign of true Christian unity is tangible, practical support between churches.
- Is your character one which tends to be divisive when it’s unnecessary; or to exalt unity when it’s impossible?
Make sure that you hold gospel truth as more important than either unity or division.
- What are the two priorities of these Christian leaders in verses 9-10? Does your personal life reflect the importance of this?
Thank God that He saves very different characters, and gives them different tasks and callings.
Ask God to keep His people united around the truth of the gospel.