Galatians 2

Greetings! 

 Barnabus and Titus were close companions of Paul’s, and one of Paul’s letters to Titus is in the Bible.

Galatians 2 Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.

  

As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance—those men added nothing to my message. On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Peter and John, those reputed to be 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 Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

Peter and Paul had a sharp disagreement here.  Note that they didn’t avoid the conflict.  Paul got an important issue out in the open.  Even though Peter was one of the original Apostles it didn’t mean he was right on every issue.  Paul rightly pointed out his hypocrisy. 

When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 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. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter 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?

Paul points out that trying to observe the law is hopeless.  We simply can’t justify ourselves before a holy and righteous God.

“We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing 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 Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

“If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Verse 20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ . . .”  How does that work?  While we weren’t physically crucified with him, our sins did die with him.  Therefore, legally speaking, God views us as having our sins punished on the cross.  Therefore, we are free from the bondage and punishment of sin.  Also, as believers, Christ lives in us and gives us power over sin.  

We aren’t saved by our good works.  Whenever we add or take away from the Gospel we act is if Jesus’ death on the cross were not enough or wasn’t necessary to save us.  Those are both big mistakes.   

Reflect on what stood out to you in this reading and share your comments and questions if you like.

0 thoughts on “Galatians 2”

  1. Peace be with you, Galatians demonstrates a falling away from their first love. and attempts my Paul to bring those who believe in Jesus Christ back into the fold. Jesus said to Peter, feed my lambs, feed my sheep, feed my sheep, but if you look further Jesus told Peter that Satan has a desire to have you. Lastly Peter said onto Jesus what did he want, talking about the disciple whom Jesus loved. The disciple whom Jesus loved asked Jesus, Lord who is it that betrays you? Jesus responded to Peter what concern is it to you, follow me.

    When we stray from the Word of God, the actual Words spoken by Jesus we are tempted to use our own words.
    Read John 14:26 and Matthew 10:41-42

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  2. Hi Disciple, peace be with you as well. That verse from the end of the Gospel of John (“What is that to you? You must follow me.”) is one of my favorites. Whenever I read it I am reminded that first and foremost I need to ensure Jesus is first in my life and that I am following him.

    I am not sure I follow your last comment. Are you saying we should only follow the red letters? The Bible is all God’s Word.

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  3. The Body of Christ, is within us, I love you, therefore, it is not my intentions to offend you in any manner. Your ears are open, and your eyes do see, let us listen and see the Word of God together.
    Jesus is the Living Word of God. I come in my Father’s name believeth thou me.

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  4. Jesus said; “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the LAW , till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18

    These are the Words Jesus spoke. What say you that they mean? As for me, did not Jesus fulfill the Law? No. Jesus said the Law shall remaineth until all is fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled the Commandments, not the Law. Did Jesus have authority to fulfill the 10 Commandments?. No.

    The Blood of the New Testament gave authority to the New Commandments all 63 of them.

    Gentiles are not bound by the Laws or the Commandments of the Old Testament, Jews who believeth on Moses are.

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  5. These are the Words spoken by Jesus.
    Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
    Matt 13:13-15 (KJV)

    The Words spoken by Jesus will never pass away.

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  6. Neil,

    Gal. 2 also addresses sin and the power we have over sin (in Christ).
    – “I have been crucified in Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” If this is the case, where is there room for sin? Paul indicates a death of the sinful nature.
    – In your own comment above you write, with Christ “we are free from the bondage and punishment of sin,” and further that “as believers, Christ lives in us and gives us power over sin.”

    These words, and Paul’s treatment in Galatians (and elsewhere) of moral and legal laws and codes, strongly indicate to me that the human being is able to rise above sin and to live in Spirit. Once we have surrendered ourselves, our lives, our minds and wills to Him and His divine will, why or how would we continue to sin? It’s not popular to believe that we can be without sin and live without sinning, I know. But if we surrender to God and become one with God, how could we be less than perfect?
    In the field of relativity (the world and creation), we can say that nothing is perfect — We can always say that things could be better. However, in spirit there is perfection. As human beings we are able to rise above/transcend the field of relativity (the body, emotions, mind, the ‘sinful nature,’ etc.) and appreciate the beauty and glory of God and His creation. In spirit we are able to appreciate His glory and power in all of creation (Romans, for example), and to observe the ultimate truth, that all things are pure (Tt 1.15), every thought, every action, every thing, for all things are of Him, through Him, and to Him (Rm 11.36). When alive in Christ, sin vanishes, and there is only purity. Wouldn’t you agree?

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