cation is always a two-way street. The third principle of unity is that Paul had a courageous conviction (2 :5 ). There can never be a sacri fice of truth. We need to stand for the Word of God, refusing to give place to error. There must be a bal ance between courtesy and courage, and between communication and conviction. We should be self-reliant but not self-sufficient; tactful but not timid; steadfast but not stubborn; serious but not sullen; unmovable but not stationary; tenderhearted but not touchy; disciplined but not de manding; discerning but not criti cal; progressive but not pretentious. Such desirable attributes were char acteristic of Paul. The fourth principle of unity is that Paul had a careful recognition (2:6, 9 ). He wasn’t overawed by wealth*, social standing, or political pressure. It can be true that “famil iarity breeds contempt.” Churches must learn to give careful recogni tion to their leadership in the Lord if there is to be unity.
of man put together cannot begin to compare with the Bible. Darwin supposedly once made the statement, “Even the atheist when his ship wrecked craft sails toward the na tive island, hopes that the mission ary has beat him there.” In other words, where the Bible has gone, men’s natural inclination to evil has been tamed. Yes, this book is true! What a great source of strength, wisdom and guidance it affords along life’s path way. Why then do we not read and meditate upon it with more consis tency in our daily lives? May the Lord help us to do that which will bring glory to His name. Unity of Believers Because of those who doubted and deprecated his apostleship Paul, in Galatians, defends the calling God has given in the first two chapters. There are six basic principles he uses to bring unity to the body of believ ers. It is an important and effective lesson for us to learn as well. The first is that there must be a common authority (2 :2 ). The revel ation of God had to be the final ref erence point and bench mark for their faith, as well as ours. Paul speaks of communicating the Gospel of the grace of God. Christ is the head of the church in love, not as a dictator, nor a tyrant. This same type of leadership needs to be shown by a husband in his home. The second principle of unity is kindness and meekness. Paul was always courteous in his communica tions with others. Paul did not broadcast their differences; there was no whispering campaign. He pri vately confronted those with whom there was a problem. This is what we need to do in all our relation ships (Matt. 18:15). The Greek word translated “communicated” in Gal. 2:2 literally means “to lay something out for a conference.” Paul was a good listener. Courteous communi- Page 10
The Believer in Christ must be careful that he does not lose out by forfeiting that which is essential for that which is optional.
The fifth principle is the need for a charitable activity (2 :10 ). The early church was not only united on theological grounds, but also on the practical, moral grounds of helping others. They sought to remember the poor. The family, or the church, or even the nation, that can work together for the common good of all will find in that charitable activity a strong bond of unity. The sixth principle is found not necessarily in Galatians, but in Isaiah 53:6. While the context of the famil iar verse shows it to be a salvation
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