Galatians 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
In chapter 2 God continued to direct the recipients to follow Paul’s progression as a born again Christian. Paul was busy serving the Lord and he was writing about a time fourteen years after his three years as mentioned in ch.1:18. Thus this would be about 17 years after his salvation. This would be about 49 A.D. The occasion here is the Jerusalem council which is recorded in Acts 15.
At that time Paul took Barnabas with him. He also took Titus with him. We have noted before that a true servant of God needs to be properly trained for the ministry. The Lord Jesus Christ had spent 3 years training the apostle Paul. This would be similar to the amount of time He spent training the eleven apostles. Paul has already stated as well that no human being interfered with his training. Today we cannot make that claim. Every true servant of God needs to be trained by godly individuals. Godly individuals will take the Word of God and carefully train the servant of God for the work that God has called him to. The true servant of God will be subject to the training from God’s Word. No true servant of God can be a self-made man. He needs to be taught by other faithful men. There are still faithful men around in true churches today. This is another reason why a saved person needs to be a faithful member of a true local church. You cannot be a faithful Christian if you do not obey the Word of God.
Any good Bible teacher will continuously point his students to the Word of God. The teacher may quote some person or recommend some book; however, the student needs to be reminded often that all reading needs to be examined and studied in the light of God’s Word. The Bible is clear:
I Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The Word of God is our authority. A man needs a right “handle” on the Word of God before he reads other men’s material. He needs to be sure he is capable of examining all human reading in the light of God’s Word. A good pastor/teacher will always be careful to lay a right foundation for his message. It is important to begin the message with the Word of God. The hearers need to know what basis the man is using for his message. Too often pastors give a long introduction before they give the Word of God. That sets the stage for himself and his listeners to fall. Bible preaching must be Bible centred.
In verse 2 Paul stated that he was led by revelation to go and speak at the Jerusalem council. Paul was not invited to come to that meeting by the other apostles. He was directed by God to go to that meeting. The true man of God is not a people pleaser. He is called of God and he humbly submits to the will of God. He serves God and goes where God wants him to be. He will be called by God to be obedient to Him. He is not desiring to be a well-known person. He desires to be a faithful servant of the Lord.
Paul had one message that he preached everywhere. The Gospel is not any different for the Jews than for the Gentiles. It is the same regardless of the generation or the dispensation. Paul preached the true Gospel to the Gentiles. Salvation is never by works. Walking the Christian life is never in order to secure salvation. The true child of God is the one who repents toward God and trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Then he or she gets baptized according to the Word of God and then joins the local church and serves the Lord faithfully in that local church.
Paul stated that he spoke privately to those who were of reputation. That would be to the apostles and church leaders. Paul spoke with them privately and explained to them what he was doing. He was not looking for their approval. He had God’s approval on what he was doing. As we see in Acts 15, there was no compromise of the truth there. The apostles and others there agreed that God’s Word is their authority and that salvation is the same for all people. The Gentiles did not need to keep the Jewish laws of circumcision. They needed to live separated lives and abstain from idols and from eating blood or things strangled. There are certain things that are important for all Christians, in order to have a good testimony.
Paul wanted to make sure that his time and effort as a saved man was not in vain. He did not want to maintain his false teaching from the past. He was going to teach the truth now and seek to help others to know the truth.