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Q3. Not Circumcising Titus

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Q3. (Galatians 2:1-3) Paul is arguing that the Jerusalem leaders support his position on circumcision, rather than that of the Judaizers. What is the significance of Paul's mention that Titus was not required to be circumcised?

Titus was a gentile convert to Christianity. Paul held him up as an example of salvation through faith and not according to the law. Uncircumcision was proof of salvation through faith alone. Thus, the gospel Paul preached was the true gospel. This proof also solidified Paul's apostleship in the Church.

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Paul was called to the council to address the issue of Gentile salvation  and the imposing of the Mosaic law; Paul hoped leaders would support his ministry looking at the evidence and not give in to legalism (he didn't want to have a wasted ministry efforts) Paul took the opportunity to discuss his approach to reach Gentiles; motivation of second visit was in response to revelation; he wanted the council to clear up any misunderstandings and that he was commissioned by God (made the point that he didn't learn the gospel by man); the judaizers' teaching was there can be no salvation with out circumcision; they tried to undermine freedom in Christ; they also threatened to disrupt the unity of the church and ursping of Paul's power; Titus not compelled because grace was sufficient (not to question liberty that is found in Christ); the leaders supported Paul's position and that slavery to the system of works righteousness was not for the Gentiles; Paul spoke of justification before God by faith in Jesus Christ; all people are saved from sin without bondage to tradition

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Paul wouldn't compromise with the Judaizers.  He was adamant that he wouldn't frustrate the grace of God and he wouldn't lessen the sufficiency of Christ. Titus was a prime example that the grace of God manifested in the death of Christ was paramount.   

Paul wouldn't place works in the place of faith,  nor mix faith with works as a ground of justification.  Nor would ceremonialism be made essential to salvation.  Paul wouldn't compromise nor accommodate himself to the Judaizers.

Christ's final and unrepeatable atonement is unnecessary if one believes that righteousness is obtained by the Law.  Paul was ever convinced at this Jerusalem meeting that justification by  faith without deeds of the Law; circumcision is not necessary for salvation.


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This entire fascinating section is an explication of an earlier statement, "I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

Paul’s subsequent long riff describing his independence from the Jerusalem church was his way of proving the gospel came from direct divine revelation. This put him above criticism. From this perch --  “I heard it from God” -- he was able to help Jewish Christians set aside old rituals and behaviours to preach the new gospel of Christ crucified.

Titus -- a non-circumcised, non-Jew – openly preached and ministered next to Paul. He was a living “in your face” challenge to Jewish Christians who clung to their Judaism more than Christ. His authority and presence could not be ignored. Obviously and undeniably, God was speaking and working through both Titus and Paul.

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