|Galatians 2 |
1 Then fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up as instructed by revelation, and communicated to them the gospel that I preached among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of good repute, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
3 But not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised because he was a Greek.
4 This occurred because false brothers had secretly slipped in among the brothers; they came in privately to spy out our liberty that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might again bring us into bondage [of the law].
5 But we did not yield to them in subjection, no, not for a moment; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
6 But as for those who seemed to be of some weighty position, (what they were makes no difference to me; God respects no man's person), those, I say, who seemed to be somewhat important, after conferring, added no additional requirements on me.
7 But to the contrary, when they saw that the gospel to the uncircumcision [Gentiles] was committed to me, as the gospel to the circumcision [Jews] was committed to Peter; [The King James Version and New King James versions translate this verse to be "the gospel for the uncircumcision" and "the gospel for the circumcision," which wording incorrectly implies that there are two different gospels; there is only one gospel for all.]
8 (For He who worked through Peter his ministry as an apostle to the circumcision, also empowered me to the Gentiles), [The difference in Peter's ministry to the Jews was for the Jewish-turned-Christians to continue to observe the whole Mosaic Law until the Spirit taught each person differently, (as Peter is recorded being taught), while the Gentiles-turned-Christians were taught to rely on only four rules. Of those four rules to the Gentiles, three of the forbidden practices no longer exist in most cultures, leaving only to abstain from sexual immorality as the one rule that still applies to most; yet with just one rule, those today who name themselves Christians are watching television shows, movies, and DVD's, which promote sexual immorality; reading books and magazines that celebrate sexual immorality; visiting porno web sites; and much worse.]
9 And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars [in the church], 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 circumcision [the Jewish people].
10 They only asked that we remember the poor; the same thing I was also eager to do.
11 But when Peter had come to Antioch, I opposed him according to his judgment because it was blamable.1
12 For before certain men came from James, Peter ate with the Gentiles; but when the men had come, he drew back and held himself aloof [from the Gentiles], for fear [of offending] those who were of the circumcision [Jewish Christians sent by James]. [To eat with the new, visiting Jewish-turned-Christians, Peter withdrew from eating with the Gentile converts to Christianity. Paul's point was that the Gentile-turned Christians would mistakenly conclude they needed to observe the Mosaic Law in order to have the same status as the Jews-turned Christians.]
13 And the other Jews also concealed their true convictions; so much that Barnabas was also carried away with their hypocrisy.
14 But when I saw that they did not walk uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, "If you, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles, and not like the Jews do, why do you compel the Gentiles to live like the Jews do?
15 We who are Jews by birth, and not Gentile sinners,
16 Know that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. We have believed in Jesus Christ, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law. For no flesh will be justified by the works of the law.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ,2 we ourselves are also found to be sinners, does that mean that Christ encourages sin? God forbid.
18 For if I build again the things that I tore down, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law, am dead to the law so that I might live to God. [Paul, (when still a Jew), had been strictly observing the law of Moses; but then Paul began to hear more commands from the Spirit that were tailored to the circumstances of his life. These new commandments caused him to realize that sin was still alive in his body; sin had revived. One dies and becomes dead to the law by hearing the Spirit's many commands, which add to the law on the heart that restricts the fleshly mind, words, and actions; and if those spoken commands are heeded and obeyed, one gradually loses their fleshly life, dying daily, until they are dead. Christ is then revealed in their body. The Lord condemns sin in your flesh by revealing it to you and commanding your repentance, (the commandment came); sin of which you are often not even aware, (sin lived); with your acknowledgement of His revelations being true, you obey His commands; by grace He then removes even the desire for that sin from your heart. This process is repeated, first with your actions, then your words, and then your thoughts; until you have crucified your carnal mind and sinful nature, (I died). Now you are free from the law, walking under total rule of the Lord to your thoughts, words, and deeds. (Through the law, I died to the law.)]
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.3 And the life, which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. [Christendom, with no knowledge of how to carry a cross, presumes that they have been crucified with Christ by imputation, which is make-believe Christianity. You must mortify your sinful nature on the inward cross of self denial so that you are freed of sin.]
21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ died in vain."
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 But when Peter had come to Antioch, I opposed him according to his judgment because it was blamable. So here Paul opposed Peter, telling us that Peter's judgment was blamable. There are many who joyfully say, "See, Peter sinned, proving that if Peter sinned, then no one can be sinless." To those who judge Peter a sinner, I say: Who are you to judge Peter! Who are you to say his mistake was a sin? Are you so wise a judge and close to God as to conclude that Paul's words of "blamed" and "hypocrisy" constitute sin? Be careful that you do not fall in the steps of the Jews, who said Jesus sinned by healing on the Sabbath, who said his disciples sinned by gathering grain on the Sabbath; and the scriptures clearly said so, didn't they?
In fear of offending the Jewish Christians, who were evidently still practicing portions of the Mosaic Law because they had not yet been convinced by the Holy Spirit to relax its many restrictions, Peter withdrew from eating with the Gentile converts to Christianity. Paul's point was that the Gentile-turned Christians would mistakenly conclude they needed to observe the Mosaic Law in order to have the same status as the Jews-turned Christians. Though when previously challenged for association with uncircumcised Gentiles, Peter had informed other Apostles and brothers that eating with the Gentiles had been permitted by the Holy Spirit; in this case Peter was evidently waiting until the Jews-turned Christians received the appropriate teachings from the Holy Spirit personally.
Peter unintentionally slighted the Gentile Christians. Perfection is not being without mistakes; perfection is to be without sin in God's eyes. According to William Penn, to God a perfect man is: blameless, sinless, a shunner of evil; yet can still make mistakes that are not sins, still be subject to disease, and be without perfect wisdom or glory. And quoting John Gratton: "So it is plain, men may be really, perfectly, sincerely, children or branches, yet may grow from strength to strength, faith to faith, in and by the spirit of the Lord, yet be perfect children, and grow to be young men, and overcome the wicked one, and still grow to be fathers, and still press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded. This is the perfection we mean; we do not mean such a perfection as that nothing can be added to it."
In the Body of Christ one individual does not have all knowledge or all gifts; what you don't have is made up by other members of the Body, so whatever knowledge is needed, is received and shared to be sure the Body works together — all controlled by the Head, Christ Himself. Sometimes, you are deliberately left in need of another member of the Body to complete your knowledge and understanding on some point. This is to maintain your humility and to strengthen the Body as a whole. This is why Peter was corrected by Paul regarding his not eating with the Gentiles when the Hebrews were around; a correction that Peter immediately owned because his Spirit of Christ confirmed it. Christ could have personally corrected Peter; but for the sake of the Body, he let Paul, the Apostle of the gentiles, correct Peter. After you are perfected, (freed from sin), you will still be receiving wisdom and knowledge from Christ the Head or from fellowship with other mature members of the Body, including occasional correction; but if you have matured to perfection, that correction must be confirmed by the Spirit of Christ within you.
2 man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. We have believed in Jesus Christ, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law. For no flesh will be justified by the works of the law. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ..
Note! With faith in Jesus Christ, we seek to be justified by Christ. As believers, we must seek to be justified. Just by believing in Jesus, we are not automatically justified. So also by faith one is purified, but obviously just by believing in Jesus, one does not become instantly pure either. Faith is the process of following the listened-to and heard commands of Jesus from within your heart; by obedience a person is cleansed, purified, justified, and saved. Paul speaks of faith coming to free us from the inner law, which includes moral core of the outward law, as our schoolmaster. In Gal 5:18, he says: if (and when) you are led (prompted, ordered, commanded) by the Spirit, you are not under the law. So he has defined faith to being in obedience to the Spirit's leading. So faith is to follow the commands heard from the Spirit of God, from the Lord. This is a major clarification of the definition of faith, as Paul further tells us that he preaches the word of faith which is in our hearts and mouths, and faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (or God); and Jesus says, Blessed are those who hear the word of God and "keep" it, such "keeping" (to practice, obey), results in the love of God being perfected in a man: But whoever obeys his spoken words, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 1 John 2:5. So faith is to hear the word within, and believe it to be the Son of God speaking to you, and then to keep it [obey it, practice it], repeatedly — which yields the blessing of the perfected love of God within you, and you to be in Christ and God.
When Paul discounts the law as the basis for justification, he is speaking of not being justified by the ordinances, sacrifices, and washings of the law. He is not saying that we can be justified and still steal, lie, murder, covet, and commit adultery, etc., as long as we believe in Jesus. As Paul said in Rom 2:10: glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good.
Beloved, while I was diligent to write to you about the common salvation, I found it necessary to write and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered to the saints. Keeping yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring eternal life. Jude 1:3,21. Now if you think that just believing is all that is necessary, for what are you advised to contend? And if you think you are instantly saved by believing, why would the brother of Jesus be writing believers that they must keep themselves in the love of God, looking (future tense) for Jesus to bring eternal life? Do you think you are a more special Christian than those in the early Church, founded by the Apostles, who were looking for a future bringing by Jesus of eternal life, salvation? To those who persistently and patiently wait for him he will appear the second time, not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation. Heb 9:28. To wait on God is to persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him; only those who heed and obey Him receive eternal salvation. Heb 5:9
3 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. When you have been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, your selfish mind and spirit are dead, replaced by the mind and the spirit of Christ. So, it is Christ who rules your heart, it is Christ who supplies your words and thoughts, and it is Christ who directs your works. For this is why he redeemed us from all sin and purified with a zeal for good works, being his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has ordained before that we should walk in. Tit 2:14, Eph 2:10. We become a junior part of God, in union with Christ and God. We are dead; but the pure part of us lives in union with Christ, the entirely new creature, old things having passed away, renewed after the image of Christ.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter