Converts of Paul believed in Jesus. They understood that He was all that was necessary for their salvation. They had a beautiful freedom in just knowing that God accepted them as they were, because of what Jesus had done for them, and they loved Him deeply as a result.
In verse 4, Paul talks about troublesome Jews as ‘false brothers’. He says they came along to ‘spy out our freedom’, in order to find a way to bring Paul and his friends into line. They wanted Paul and Titus to conform. They wanted them to be like them, and do things their way.
They wanted the non-Jewish Christians to observe certain distinctly ‘Jewish’ rules and regulations. At the end of verse 4, Paul says this action would be like bringing them into bondage. It would rob them of their freedom in Christ. Paul says in the following verses that he didn’t give in to them for one moment!
He refused to allow anything to be added to faith in Christ. He would not tolerate any teaching which required a person to believe in Jesus and have to do certain other things as well, in order to be classed as a genuine Christian.
Faith is living each day with an awareness that although we do not deserve anything but God’s judgement because of our guilt and sin and failure, he has done something about it through the Lord Jesus Christ! That is our freedom just knowing this and trusting Him day by day.
It is this very freedom which Paul was so anxious to defend, lest it be polluted and tainted with error. That’s why in verse 5 he says that he did not give in to these people for one second, ‘that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you’.
Today, ask God to give you a love and acceptance of other believers who are different than you but who, like you, are accepted by God only on the basis of what Jesus Christ has done for you on the cross.