Paul gives an account of how he went on the strength of revelation to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus. He met with the leaders to communicate the gospel he had preached to the gentiles. During their stay, there was a contention compelling Titus to be circumcised, Paul however reprimanded them because he wanted the truth of the gospel preserved. He went further to explain to them that God doesn’t show favouritism.
Paul disagreed with Peter on the issue of circumcision citing he allowed himself to be influenced by the other Jews when he came to Antioch; he made them understand they have been justified by faith in Christ Jesus rather than by the works of the law such as circumcision. Furthermore, he explained to them the need to die to the law, because they have been crucified with Christ and the life they now live is by faith through Christ. He warned against being led by the dictates of the law so that Christ’s death which brings grace to all won’t be in vain. He however gave caution not to take this grace for granted.
As Christians, we should pay more attention to details; seek to understand those things that have been freely giving to us, so that we don’t get ourselves entangled with religious activities.
I live a victorious life in Christ Jesus.
Reading – Galatians 2
Paul Accepted by the Apostles
2 Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy onthe freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
6 As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b] 8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James,Cephas[c] and John, those esteemed as 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 circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.
Paul Opposes Cephas
11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.
19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”[e]
- Galatians 2:7That is, Gentiles
- Galatians 2:7That is, Jews; also in verses 8 and 9
- Galatians 2:9That is, Peter; also in verses 11 and 14
- Galatians 2:16Or but through the faithfulness of … justified on the basis of the faithfulness of
- Galatians 2:21Some interpreters end the quotation after verse 14.