For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.
Paul continues to defend himself against those who were attacking him in order to discredit his message. These false teachers were requiring the Gentile Christians to be circumcised in order to be saved.
Paul wants them to know that even in Jerusalem; the church does not require Gentiles to be circumcised.
Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem…yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.
He tells of false brothers who tried to require Titus to be circumcised. Paul wants them to know how he stood against this - We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.
At issue in all of these details is whether a relationship with Jesus is sufficient for a person to be saved. By adding legalistic requirements, the false teachers are saying Jesus isn’t enough. It is Jesus, plus this or that!
Paul concludes by letting them know that the apostles in Jerusalem accepted him and his mission to the Gentiles. And they did not advise him to require circumcision as a part of the message of Jesus. That belonged to the custom of the Jews.
James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.