“…to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”
to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour,
Paul did not yield in submission to the doctrine of the legalists even for an hour. He did not cave into legalism. “Yield” means to yield, give way, drawback, retire. When it came to defending the gospel, Paul did not shrink back from a fight. Peter did not yield to this crowd at the Jerusalem Council either (Acts 15:7). Paul did not give way to legalism and allow trampling of the liberty of grace.
that the truth of the gospel might continue with you
The reason Paul did not yield an inch to the legalists is that “the gospel might continue with you.” The word “continue” means to continue throughout, i.e., without interruption. Paul wanted the gospel of grace to be a permanent fixture in church doctrine. Paul took a stand for the truth of the gospel of grace so that liberty in Christ might be there for the Galatians.
“Truth” implies genuineness and integrity. The issue of the integrity of the gospel was at stake. The false teachers did not completely deny the gospel; they mixed truth with the false doctrine of works.
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
Christians must take a stand on “the truth of the gospel.”
Christians today should have great concern for corrupting the unadulterated gospel of grace. We live in a day when very few care about the truth of the gospel. Take a stand for truth. There are some things worth fighting for. Have you moved from your initial belief in salvation by grace through faith alone? Many evangelicals are defecting from this truth. Those who hold to the truth do so because they commit themselves to what the Bible says and not to the current evangelical trend.
It is one thing to be flexible in method (1 Corinthians 9:22), but it is another thing to be flexible in the message. We must be inflexible in message if we are going to maintain the integrity of Christianity in our day.
Does a person who fights for truth lack love? It is not loving to allow your children to get away with bloody murder. We would not do our duty as a parent if we let our children develop bad character traits. There are absolutes and principles where a parent should take a stand. Love does the best for our children, even though the process may be painful. We cannot compromise “the truth of the gospel,” but we can accommodate methods to reach people for Christ.
It is not enough for us to retain the awful idea of some general gospel. We serve the specific gospel of the New Testament, a gospel of grace. There is a true gospel, and there is a false gospel. When it comes to the essence of the gospel, Christians should take an uncompromising stand on “the truth of the gospel.” There is latitude in method but not in message. In the message, “We do not yield, no, not for an hour.”