Because of God's assignment, we no longer define our lives by culture or heritage.
The moment that you got saved, the moment you chose to believe in Christ, God didn't just snatch you to heaven. God left us here with initiatives and commands and commissions and callings and all these great and lofty things that sometimes we feel unqualified for, but God has absolutely prepared us for. I want you to know that the enemy doesn't care if you have freedom. If you're not living like you're free, then his plan can still be accomplished. We can start off one way and maybe just get a little bit off track. And I think what Paul is telling us here is that the integrity of the gospel has to be preserved at all costs.
If you start to dilute or distort or in any way add to this perfect thing that God has given us, it not only changes your life, it takes away the hope of the world. The truth and integrity of the gospel has to be preserved at all costs. Nothing needs to be added to it. It doesn't need to be slightly altered, distracted, distorted, diluted.
Paul makes it clear that God shows no partiality. Now why would this be important? Because you have a Gentile church full of young believers who are now being intimidated by these Orthodox Jews who are probably stately and men of high reputation. And Paul is saying, God shows no partiality. Because let me tell you some good news that at the foot of the cross, nobody cares who your parents were. If you grew up in church, if you knew how to talk, what your resume was, how long you were in VBS, at the foot of the cross, everybody is equal and Paul is reminding the Galatians that don't let people who may have some rich religious heritage make you question this beautiful relationship that you have with Jesus.
Paul says, this authority and our assignment, it's not going to always be popular. There won't always be an applause. In Galatians 2:11-14 we see Paul has to face a pretty important challenge. He said earlier that Peter has been called to give the gospel to the Jews, but in 11-14 he kind of has a little confrontation with Peter. Paul says he opposed Peter to his face. Now, this is why I love Paul because he's opposing people to their face. I mean, he is like, I'm not going to write about it.
So he says, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned 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.
Paul calls this out as a party, the circumcision party. He says, Peter started acting a little different when the men of high reputation came around. Paul saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel and called Peter out. He didn't care about Peter's reputation. He didn't care about Peter's notoriety. He called him out when he wasn't acting consistently with the truth of the gospel.
The reason for calling him out wasn't self-centered. It wasn't to embarrass. He actually called him out in love. “Peter, you don't have to like me, but I love you, and you need to know that what you're doing is not consistent with the gospel. Moreover, it's a confusing message because you're a Jew.”
Can I tell you that if you yourself are not rooted in this word, in this gospel, that all it takes is a well-spoken charismatic leader or an inspirational quote or an amazing t-shirt or a tote bag or a song, it can steer you off track. You have to see everything through the lens of the gospel. This is so important because when I'm fully accepted in Christ Jesus and my authority is not called into question, I know my assignment and what I'm doing. As soon as you get rooted in that, let me tell you, be prepared.