Galatians II:1-13, Questions for Students (Tuesday June 19, 2012 – Saturday June 23, 2012)

Galatians 2:1-13

Third Week

Tuesday

June 19, 2012

(Gal 2:1 ESV) Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.

1. Who was Titus? (Gal 2:1-3; 2 Cor 7:6-14; 8:6-23; Tit 1:4)

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2. Fourteen years after his first visit with Peter would likely put him in Jerusalem around the time of Acts 15, when the council of apostles and elders gathered to decide about how to deal with the conversion of Gentiles, following Paul’s return from his first missionary journey.

(Act 15:1-3 ESV) But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. 3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.

If you were Paul, how would you have felt coming to Jerusalem at that time, only to learn that many wanted the Gentile converts to be circumcised, in effect, to convert to Judaism, to be saved?

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Wednesday

June 20, 2012

(Gal 2:2 ESV) 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.

3. Why did Paul speak privately those of greatest influence?

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(Gal 2:2 ESV) 2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.

4. Since revelations come from God, why would God have sent Paul there at this time?

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(Gal 2:3 ESV) 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.

5. Paul had obviously already been converting Gentiles without requiring circumcision. Why do you suppose Paul required Timothy to be circumcised (Acts 16:3) “because of the Jews” but not Titus?

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(Gal 2:4-5 ESV) 4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in — who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery — 5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

6. Who were the “false brothers”? (Compare Acts 15:24)

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7. What teaching would the false brothers have brought that Paul would call “slavery”? (Compare Gal 5:1-6.)

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8. Would Paul have considered having Titus circumcised as yielding to the false brothers?

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9. Why not yield to the Jews — as he did for Timothy — just to preserve peace and unity? Aren’t unity and preserving a valued tradition and identity of more importance than circumcision?

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Thursday

June 21, 2012

(Gal 2:6 ESV) 6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) — those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.

10. Doesn’t this verse sound a bit braggadocio? Why was is necessary that Paul establish his independence from the Twelve?

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(Gal 2:7-9 ESV) 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

11. Paul had already been on one missionary journey. Why had the apostles not yet seen that he had been entrusted with the gospel to the Gentiles? (Acts 13:1-3)

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Friday

June 22, 2012

(Gal 2:10 ESV) 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

12. This seems to come out of left field, doesn’t it? Why in a discussion on how Gentiles are saved do the apostles insist on remembering the poor? Just how central to the gospel is this?

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Saturday

June 23, 2012

(Gal 2:11-13 ESV) 11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.

13. Some translations say “in the wrong” or “to be blamed” rather than “stood condemned.” But see how the word is used 1 John 3:20-21 and Deuteronomy 25:1. Why would Peter be condemned just for refusing to eat with uncircumcised believers?

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14. Paul says Peter feared the circumcision party. Just what was he afraid of from fellow Christians?

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15. Does the gospel allow us to be in mental fellowship with other Christians but not in active, real fellowship in order to avoid criticism from fellow Christians?

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15. Do we ever separate ourselves from active, real fellowship with other Christians to avoid criticism? Can such decisions be justified?

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16. Why does a failure to be in active fellowship with other Christians offend the gospel?

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About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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