I have been studying and teaching through the Letter of Paul to the Galatians and have been finding it to be quite challenging spiritually and mentally. One of the phrases that I noticed recently is in Galatians chapter 2, where Paul twice refers to the “truth of the Gospel” in Galatians 2:5 and 2:14:
Gal 2:5 (NKJV) to whom [the false brethren] we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
Gal 2:14 (NKJV) But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?
What is “the truth of the Gospel”? For that, you need to read verse 16:
Gal 2:16 (NKJV) knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
The “truth of the Gospel” is that we are justified, or you could say “made righteous” by faith in Jesus Christ, not by following the Mosaic law. This was a very significant truth and one that the church struggled with in the early days. Paul, however, stood very firm on the “truth of the Gospel” that we are justified by faith in Jesus.
In verse 5, Paul is defending the truth among the leadership of the church, and then in verse 14, in the everyday relationships of the local congregation.
I had to wonder, what do I add to the Gospel? Do I expect others to add to the Gospel to satisfy me? Am I willing to accept into my local congregation those who are from a different race or background? Do I add things to them?
The “truth of the Gospel” is truly found only in Jesus Christ.