Together for the Gospel: Navigating Paths of Faithful Stewardship

Brian Mahon - 9/24/2023


Call to worship: Psalm 133

Text: Galatians 2:1-10


Paul returns to Jerusalem, having spent 14 years preaching the Gospel among the Gentiles. His visit is couched in humility. He wants (and needs) still to be grounded in the Gospel. Remember, revelation over 'revelations.' While there, Titus the Greek becomes a case study in justification. Though false brothers slip in like serpents to spy out and throw down the churches' justified freedom in Christ, Paul stands his ground on the Gospel of grace and, in doing so, is backed by Peter, James, John, and the Judean churches. Titus needn't be circumcised to be justified. He's justified by faith in Jesus. Out of this unyielding stance, unity in the one Gospel for the whole world is strengthened. As ambassadors of the living, working Christ, they're together for the Gospel. The only added exhortation to Paul as he departs is the very thing he was eager to do: show no partiality in showcasing the charity of the Gospel he preaches. Therefore, ministry to the poor, those who could not give a return on the apostle's labors, was yet a Gospel priority for them all.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Humility in service of the Gospel. (2:1-2)
  2. Stability in service of the Gospel. (2:3-5)
  3. Unity in service of the Gospel. (2:6-9)
  4. Impartiality in service of the Gospel. (2:10)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Galatians 2:1-10. Compare with the texts given for our call to worship and intermediate reading above.
  2. Why does Paul return to Jerusalem? How long has it been since his last visit? What has he been doing in the vast interim? Why does that make it remarkable that he would go to Jerusalem to have his Gospel confirmed (again)? What role does humility play in being a faithful steward of the Gospel?
  3. Paul's brought Titus with him to Jerusalem. Why would Titus become a good case study in the essential truth of the Gospel? What are the false teachers requiring for justification? What do the leaders in Jerusalem not force Titus to do to be justified? How is that a win for the truth of the Gospel? Why is it important (again) that the church know the Gospel well enough to discern counterfeits? Is it ever appropriate for a Christian to be (charitably) unyielding, not submissive, unteachable? Why or why not?
  4. How does this occasion of defending the Gospel strengthen the bonds between Paul and the Jerusalem churches with her leaders? May we be best served as individuals to focus (not exclusively) on certain individuals in Gospel ministry? May one be better suited for some than others? Does that entail proclaiming a different Gospel? What about its packaging? Who is effecting Gospel labors through faithful stewards?
  5. Of all the instructions or exhortations the Jerusalem saints might give Paul as he returns to preach the Gospel among the nations, what is the one given? What is Paul's response to this? Why would this be the exhortation? More basically, what's meant by the exhortation? Are they emphasizing charity to the poor? Are they emphasizing impartiality in Gospel ministry? Both? Why would this be such an important exhortation for faithfully stewarding the Gospel?
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