But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed to me…
I. THE GOSPEL IS OFFERED TO MEN IS ALL CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE. It is for men of every race, practising all varieties of social habits, living in different stages of civilization, holding the utmost diversities of creed, viewing the gospel itself from many distinct standpoints. None are so privileged as not to need it - the circumcised want it. None are so neglected as to be excluded from it - the uncircumcised have it preached to them. In the breadth of Divine love God has so ordered it that means shall be found for spreading his grace in the various directions where it is needed.
II. DIFFERENT MEN ARE CALLED TO DIFFERENT FIELDS OF CHRISTIAN WORK. Division of labour is as valuable in the Church as in business. This principle is generally recognized in foreign missions. It would greatly economize work and money and save much unseemly strife if it were equally acknowledged at home. It is to the shame of the Church that so much of its efforts is spent in maintaining the rivalry of the sects and parties, while the great world lies neglected. If the labourers are few it is a scandal that they should be quarrelling for their rights on the little patch already cleared. We are too short-sighted. We should "lift up our eyes." There the fields white to the harvest would call us out to broader efforts.
III. THE VARIOUS FUNCTIONS OF CHRISTIAN WORK ARE DETERMINED BY THE VARIOUS GIFTS OF THE CHRISTIAN LABOURERS. St. Paul was most fitted for Gentiles, St. Peter for Jews. They wisely recognized their diversity of vocations. It is important to see that we are in the right work. What is the best work for one man may be very unsuitable for another. We shall fail if we slavishly copy the most successful servants of Christ in a line that may not be ours. Butler could not organize a revival; nor could Wesley confute deism. We may be discouraged needlessly at our failure. Try some other work till the right work is discovered. The important point is to find our mission in our capacities rather than in our inclinations. We are not necessarily most fit for the work we like best. Still sympathy with a particular work is one great aid to success; only let us see that we do not confound this with self-will or ambition.
IV. DIVERSITY OF ADMINISTRATIONS IMPLIES SO DISCORD. Rather it is the best security for harmony. When all attempt the same work jealousy and rivalry spring up. If we differ naturally we are sure to come in conflict when trying to do the same thing. The ox and the ass are useful beasts, but bad yokefellows. The Apostles Paul and Peter could not have remained on friendly terms if they had kept to the same field. We should show friendship for those who are carrying on a different work from our own, recognizing them as fellow-servants with one Master.
V. THE SAME TRUTH AND GRACE ARE FOUND IN DIVERSITIES OF ADMINISTRATIONS. St. Paul and St. Peter preached essentially the same gospel. There is but one Christ and one narrow way. Diversity cannot go beyond the one gospel without becoming apostasy. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;