Galatians 2:2-5 KJV
And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
There is described here a practice I have employed for the better part of the years of my ministry. There is also described here the shortcomings of that practice.
Paul attempted to meet with those "of reputation" privately to communicate to them the gospel he preached to the Gentiles. He no doubt wished to meet with them privately so he could
· answer their objections
· clear up any confusion and
· secure their support for his gospel message before it became public knowledge.
I have practiced this concept as well as I could throughout my ministry. I like to speak privately to those of influence in our church ahead of a major decision in order to gain their backing for the decision.
But Paul admitted his practice failed in this case. Certain false brethren were brought in unawares. Who brought them in is uncertain and maybe unimportant. The fact is, people heard Paul before he was ready for them to hear. They undoubtedly attempted to foil Paul's ministry by spreading falsehoods and misrepresentations concerning what they had heard.
Given this "unfortunate" turn of events the apostle teaches us exactly how to handle misrepresentations; he refused any attempt on their part to put Paul under their authority. He immediately assumed the position of power. Rather than trying to lead these people to buy into his gospel message he here insisted upon his message.
We attempt to win people to the truth. If that fails, we never allow them to entertain, not even a moment, that our gospel message is not true.