When Paul finally made his way to Jerusalem he was welcomed with opened arms. The three pillars, (James, John, and Peter) received him completely and commended him to the ministry to the 24 jsus paid it allGentiles. Galatians 2:7-10 lays that out for us. We read, “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 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 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.”

Paul received the complete approval of the apostles and was commended to the ministry to the Gentiles. In verse 10, they added a suggestion to Paul: “Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” Please notice that this is not a command. That means the Apostles recognized Paul as an equal. It was a request that Paul had already embraced and taught throughout the Gentile world. The Gospel that Paul preached was approved and Paul, recognized as an Apostle himself, was commended by the 12 to preach his message to the world. On the other hand, the gospel of the Judaizers was condemned at the Jerusalem Council (See Acts 15). It wasn’t just Paul’s non-authoritative opinion, like something I might say. No it was “Gospel.” It was the good news that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and to purchase for us a place in heaven that he offers to us all as a free gift! It is by grace we can be saved, through faith. It has nothing to do with our righteousness. God leaves us with nothing but gratitude and nothing to brag about regarding our standing with God. It’s all of Grace!

Freedom is for everyone; Jews and Gentiles alike. They are free in Christ, just as you and I are! In His novel, “Chesapeake,” Michener tells about a Reverend Buford. He’d been called to speak to rebellious slaves on the plantation. They are planning to run away. Buford tells them to forget it; “And what is running away, really? Tell me, what is it? It is theft of self. Yes, you steal yourself and take it away from the rightful owner, and God considers that a sin.” For this terrible sin of wanting their freedom Buford says, “you will roast in hell.” I don’t think Buford has ever read or understood Galatians. Christ died for us all; Jews and Greeks, slaves and free, male and female. One commentator says that Christ has set us all free from any kind of slavery “to a political or economic system, to social prejudices and barriers, to sin or habits or customs. Nor did He create us to be slaves of any religious system. From everything that would bar men and women from true fellowship with God, God in Christ has set us free.” Paul is ready to go to battle with all the other Apostles if need be. But he doesn’t have to. They agree! Freedom in Christ is for everyone!