Friday, September 12, 2008

Desert Theological Seminary

Today, we are going to pickup in Galatians chapter 2. This chapter is very interesting to me in that we find Paul comparing the gospel that he had been preaching with the gospel that the apostles had been preaching to see if they were the same. Remember that Paul had not sat under anyone’s teaching, but had received his training at what I like to call Desert Theological Seminary (that’s the time that he spent in the desert after his conversion experience in Acts 9). It was apparently then that he received much of his knowledge of who Jesus really was and what he was to then do about it.

Notice v.1, “Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.” “Then after fourteen years” means that Paul had not been there since his last visit in 2:18 right after his conversion. We do know that Paul did return to Jerusalem with the “collection for the saints” in Acts 11:27-30, but because he did not meet with the apostles at that time; he did not refer to them here.

Many feel that this occasion was the same occasion as recorded in Acts 15 with the Jerusalem Council that concluded that the Gentiles did not need to be circumcised. That being the case, Titus was exhibit A at that council meeting as proof that the Gentiles were being saved even though they had not been circumcised according to Jewish law as given by Moses in the Old Testament.

Notice v.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.” Again, Paul wanted to make sure that the revelation that he had received while at DTS (Desert Theological Seminary) about grace was the same as that of the apostles. If circumcision and law were required for salvation, Paul had been preaching the wrong gospel. We also see some humility in Paul and that’s a far cry from where he was before his conversion, when by his own admonition, he was an arrogant and insolent man like many of us before we got saved. However, those attributes certainly should not mark our lives since we have come to Christ. Both are sinful.

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