Galatians 2:2-5 2 I went there because of a revelation, and I laid out the gospel that I preach to the Gentiles for them. But I did it privately with the influential leaders to make sure that I wouldn’t be working or that I hadn’t worked for nothing. 3 However, not even Titus, who was with me and who was a Greek, was required to be circumcised. 4 But false brothers and sisters, who were brought in secretly, slipped in to spy on our freedom, which we have in Christ Jesus, and to make us slaves. 5 We didn’t give in and submit to them for a single moment, so that the truth of the gospel would continue to be with you.
After Paul had spent his time re-learning the Scriptures and preaching across the land, he went back to Peter, James and the other apostles to meet with them to make sure the same message was being preached.
One of the things I enjoy about Bible Study is knowing each time we come to a particular passage we see something new. Likewise, when we discuss these passages with other people we can learn their viewpoint as well. There is value in studying on our own and learning from other people as well.
Since Paul was a representative of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people), he made sure the same gospel was being preached by the original apostles to the Jews. I can imagine that Paul was affirmed when he found out he was preaching the same message as Peter, James, John and the others.
This should still be true for us today. We can study on our own, and we can learn all of these wonderful theological concepts about the scriptures. We can even preach and teach these to other people. But, we should not just rely on what we have learned on our own for the simple reason that we need to be able to back up what we teach when someone comes along and attempts to distort the message into something you and I did not intend.
This is why it is important to have a group of people (whom we agree with and those we do not agree with) to discuss what we have learned. Doing this will help us think things through, and give even more strength to the message when we can say that God is working through these people who are giving the same message.
There will be times when people will come along and try to make you and I change our minds and get us to believe something completely different. It is easy to conform to what the culture around us says and try to place these same viewpoints and opinions in the mind and heart of God. But God asks us to trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, and the true message of good news for all people: grace is available to all, we just need to accept this grace to allow it to transform us.
Many people to do not want to hear they are wrong, but we should be careful not to dilute the incredible, awesome power and truth of Jesus Christ. It is in Christ that we are free, not by following rules other people want to place on us to “prove” how much of a Christian and follower of Christ we are. Christ breaks us free and allows us to not be slaves to sin, but rather loving children who do what God asks.
Paul knew the people who were with Jesus while he was still on this earth. My guess is he had great respect for them because they had that opportunity. We all need people in our lives who will hold us accountable and to keep us on the right track. We all need “spiritual parents” who will walk with us as we do the work that God calls us to do. The work Jesus Christ is with us in. The work the Holy Spirit gives us strength, wisdom and all we need to do the work.