Galatians 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
In verse 6 Paul reminds us that God is no respecter of persons. It does not matter if a man has degrees or not. What matters is whether the man knows the true God and is walking humbly with him. When I was in Bible School, we were taught that soon a man would need a masters degree to be able to teach in a Bible School. Most men do not have the spiritual depth to be able to handle the temptations that come with getting these higher degrees. Most men cave in to the pressure of wanting to be popular and of wanting a greater following and thus they compromise in order to get what their flesh desires.
A pastor needs to be well taught. He needs to be well taught in the Bible, not the many side issues that will corrupt him. Paul was well taught. He was capable of discerning truth. He knew God’s Word was absolute truth. He could make wise decisions because he was filled with the Holy Ghost and he was a humble servant of the Lord.
Paul noted that other men who were at the Jerusalem council did not add anything to his message. He was already serving God faithfully. It was the Judaizers that were corrupting the Gospel, not Paul. He was pleased with the outcome of that council because they agreed to stick to the true Gospel. They did not add anything to God’s way of salvation.
Paul was not discounting Biblically trained men. He was stating that any saved man who is called to be in leadership needs to be a humble servant of God and not one who wants to flatter people with what he thinks he knows. Stick to the Word of God and let God guide you in the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. Other people will be blessed when a true man of God opens the Word of God before them.
God revealed to those at that council that Paul was directed to speak to the Gentiles while Peter was called to preach to the Jews. However, their message was the same, for the most part. We will see yet, that Peter had a major problem that needed to be addressed and Paul would be the one to do that.
Paul reminded the Galatians that the same Holy Spirit was at work in his life and ministry, as was involved in Peter’s ministry. There were men named in verse 9 that seemed to be key men in the Church at Jerusalem. These men proved their worth by recognizing the grace of God given unto Paul and Barnabas. They did not try to interfere with the work of God through these men, but rather they reached out to them with the right hand of fellowship. They recognized these men were true servants of the true God and they agreed to help them in any way they could.
This is important. We need God’s men to help one another in the work of the Lord. We need the prayer of godly men on our behalf and they need our prayers as well. It is good to be able to consult with godly men regarding the challenges involved in the preaching of the Gospel. The number of men available for this work is dwindling. It is good that we have the Word of God and can consult with God in prayer and through the faithful study of His Word.
We can still stand true and strong in the Lord today. Compromise is abounding, but we do not need to fall for the compromise. God is still able to bless the humble servant of His.
Paul noted as well that the only concern expressed toward them was that they should remember the poor. The persecution that the early Christians were facing was having an effect on them. Some had to move to other areas and employment opportunities were not abundant and thus some of the brethren were facing difficult times.
We are reminded that God-fearing saints can be hit hard economically. The devil wants to shut down the truth in any way possible. Godly men are not always appreciated. The apostle Paul had to work at making tents while ministering in Corinth. The saints there did not value his work as they should have. He needed to instruct them on the importance of looking after the man of God.
Paul travelled extensively in the Gentile world of that area. He encouraged the different churches to take collections for the needs of other churches. He was not neglecting the teaching of the whole counsel of God. Godly giving is one of the important areas of service that God has blessed His saints with. We are reminded often in the Bible that we will not take anything with us when we die. It is wise to give to the work of the Lord, rather than seeking to develop a large inheritance for children who are not interested in the things of the Lord.
We need to have a keen sense of awareness of the needs of faithful men of God.
Psalm 119:72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
Psalm 119:127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.
The Word of the Lord is precious. The Word of the Lord is the hope of man. It is important to keep the Word of the Lord before society so that others can come to know the true God. Even though many have heard the truth before, that is no reason to stop preaching the truth. The Gospel is without charge to those in need of hearing it. It is those who have been blessed by the Gospel that need to have an appreciation for It.
Paul was mindful of the needs of others and he sought to encourage the saints wherever he went, to give of their bounty to help those in need in other areas. There was no frivolous spending by true saints. There was a desire to make Christ known in all regions. God blessed the saints and in turn they could help others to receive a true blessing as well.