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Galatians 2

Paul’s argument with Peter
Then after the space of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, also taking Titus with me. 2 And I went up there by revelation, and I laid before them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately before them who were of repute, lest by any means I should be running, or had run, in vain. 3 But not even Titus who was with me, being a Gentile, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 In view of the false brothers unknowingly brought in, who came in secretly to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus that they might bring us into bondage, 5 we did not yield to them in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
   6 But from those who were reputed to be somewhat (whatever they were, it makes no matter to me, God does not accept man's person) they, I say, who were of repute added nothing to me. 7 But on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter with the Gospel to the circumcision 8 (for he that worked through Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, worked through me also to the Gentiles);
   9 And when they perceived the grace that was given to me, then James, Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcision. 10 Only they asked us to remember the poor, which very thing I was also zealous to do.
   11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before that certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they did not walk straightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before all: If you, being a Jew, live as do the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why do you compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Justification by faith not law
   15 We being Jews by nature and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law. Because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
   17 But if, while we seek to be made righteous in Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? God forbid! 18 For if I build up again those things which I destroyed, I prove myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live but Christ living in me; and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me. 21 I do not make void the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!



2:4 These false brothers appeared to be Christians, but their agenda was to bring Paul's converts back into bondage to the Law of Moses and the Jewish system. This element appear to have been the 'satan' / adversary to Paul's preaching of the Gospel throughout the Roman world.

2:9 If we too perceive that other brethren with whom we differ have been given a gift, a grace, and that they too preach the same Gospel (v. 7), then we should also not reject them- even if we agree to work somewhat separately from them. The agreement that Paul would focus on converting Gentiles rather than Jews was pragmatic, but here we have a precedent for pragmatic decision making in the church.

2:11-13 Although there has to be pragmatic decision making at times (v. 9 note), we must be careful not to let God's principles be broken. It must've been hard for Paul to directly confront Peter about his hypocrisy, but he did so because an important principle was at stake. Peter would break bread privately with Gentile believers, but not when some Jewish brothers came to visit. Paul saw this as seriously wrong; we should unashamedly break bread with our brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever political pressure may be exerted; and whatever the consequences. To do otherwise is to not walk according to the Gospel (v. 14). If a spiritual giant like Peter could fail in this matter, we must recognize it will be a temptation for the rest of us.

2:20 Crucified with Christ- Maybe a reference to the fact Paul had been baptized into the death of Christ, with the result that the resurrection life of Jesus is now revealed in our lives (Rom. 6:3-5).

2:20 Loved me and gave Himself up for me- We can each say and feel these words.