The Gospel and the Inner Ring
On Sunday morning we were in Galatians 2. One of the things this chapter does is to expose and explode what CS Lewis brilliantly called 'The Inner Ring'. That was the title of a lecture he gave at King's College London in 1944 and can be found here. It has nothing to do with changing bike tyres and everything to do with how the human heart operates.
In many ways the 'troublers' who had come into the churches in Galatia were 'inner ring' people. That is, they were trying to get the Galatian Christians to become like them in order to be the real deal. Which meant yes to circumcision and no to eating with Gentile Christians. Even Peter it seems had begun to be lured in to the 'inner ring' of the Judaizers.
In Galatians 2 Paul defends the truth of the gospel in three ways. First he makes sure that Titus is not circumcised (vs 3). Secondly he rebukes Peter for his withdrawing from eating with Gentile Christians (vs 14). And then thirdly he shows how our justification and life come solely from union with Christ (vv 15-21). Grace, not grace plus, is the way to be the real deal.
Let's be aware of the danger of an 'inner ring' at Emmanuel. And let's believe the gospel and behave in line with it in all we do in our church life.
Do read the CS Lewis lecture. And we can listen to the sermon here.