Galatians 2

Galatians 2 has Paul dealing with the church and some of the false teachings that were being spread.  There was an effort to undermine what Paul has been up to.  “Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you”.  Paul knows God’s truth and is not going to let anyone dissuade him or those he is teaching if at all possible.  He stands firmly for the truth, just as we need to even today.

This was some high stakes interaction, as even Peter was involved at some level.  “When they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised….and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised”.  Peter and his buddies see that Paul is teaching Christ crucified and do a division of efforts as to who would serve which group.

Paul has no fear of standing on principles.  “But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy”.  Paul calls Peter out publicly for being a hypocrite and failing to live according to God’s truth.  “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews”?  Paul lets him have it and calls him out.

Paul declares the truth of the gospel.  “We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified”.  The gospel is about Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Nothing more, nothing less.  And Paul is living as a Christ Follower completely and without fear.  “For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.  That’s what the gospel is all about – not you or me – but Jesus and our faith in Him as the Savior and Lord who makes our future secure!

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