Bible Studies

Galatians Chapter 2

Paul rebukes Peter-warns of false brethren-Jews teaching circumcision for salvation.

1.    Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. (see Gal 1:18)

2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

5 To whom we gave place by subjection, ("gave in by obeying" the false teaching that one must be circumcised for salvation) no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth ( God is not amazed, in awe, or looks up to any person) no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

8 (For he that wrought effectually (The Holy spirit was actively efficient) in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, (leaders) perceived (were aware of) the grace that was given unto me, (the privilege of preaching as they were). they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. (preaching to do)

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

12. For before that certain (group of people) came from James, he did eat with the

Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

[For before I withstood Peter to the face (rebuke him), James came to me accompanied by others and told me that Peter would eat (fellowship) with the Gentiles (which OT Jews were forbidden to do) when other Jews were not around to see him. But when they came around Peter would separate himself from the Gentiles (dogs) because he feared what the unconverted Jews would think. Peter knew better. He knew God included the Gentiles into the NT and they were not inferior to the Jews anymore.]

13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

[The converted Jews would also dissemble (act as hypocrites) like Peter did. (He preached one thing and acted contrary to his beliefs). He was trying to please man and not God, out of fear of man’s opinion of him. Even Paul’s companion went along with them in their hypocrisy.]

14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

[Peter eats what the Gentiles set before him. He acts after their custom or habit. He lives as the Gentile live when he is among them.]

[The statement that Peter was not acting according to the truth of the Gospel is this. He was a Jew and therefore not obliged to live after the manner of the Gentiles, as he had been doing in his table fellowship. But now, having gone that far and then broken off, he was logically compelling Gentile believers to live as Jews, that is, to adopt circumcision and the dietary laws of the Jews and thus remove all barriers between themselves and men like Peter. But if the Gentile believers did this, they would sacrifice the truth of the Gospel, which had been affirmed at Jerusalem. The church had decided that no such burden of legal compliance was to be laid on Gentile believers. The whole principle of grace was at stake. The logical outcome of Peter's conduct was to make Jews out of Gentile Christians or else force the creation of a Gentile church alongside the Jewish church, which would break the unity of the body of Christ. So the truth of the Gospel was involved.]

15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

17. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

[The real transgressor is not Christ, but the one who, like Peter, builds up again a difference that has in fact been destroyed. Peter was doing just that by withdrawing from Gentile fellowship, making it appear that Jewish believers were a superior breed.]

[Paul had Peter acknowledgment that the two of them, being native Jews and having enjoyed the special advantages of Judaism, including the possession of the Law, had nevertheless been obliged to come to the place of simply trusting Christ for salvation, just as any poor Gentile had to do. Peter was bound to agree, because of his own commitment to this position (Acts 15:11). The OT itself testifies that justification does not come from the works of the law (Ps 143:2). To be justified means to be declared and considered righteous in God's eyes, to be vindicated of any charge of sin incident to failure to keep God's holy law. The faith of Jesus Christ means faith "in" Christ. This lowering of the Jew to the level of the Gentile seemed to involve Christ, making Him a minister of sin in that He released man from bondage to the Law, since faith in Christ for both Jew and Gentile on equal terms is the condition of salvation. Christ put His "chosen people" on a level with the Gentile "dog" sinners.]

18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

20. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

21 I do not frustrate (cast off, reject ) the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (died for nothing)

[We don’t live "only" to obey the law anymore. The law killed us, as it killed Christ. It is because of the law that we couldn’t keep, that Christ was crucified to pay the penalty that was pronounced on us by God.]

[The life we now live in the flesh is to obey God out of love, and not "only" out of fear of everlasting death in the lake of fire, or everlasting punishment of any sort.]

[Believers are killed (crucified) with Christ., and now yet we live (resurrected with Christ) only because Christ (Holy Spirit) is living in us. The law brought sin and death to people].

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

[Those whom the Law kills stay dead, (suffer the second death in the lake of fire) unless Christ comes to live in them. WE are not living. CHRIST "living in us" is what makes us alive.]

[When God created man He gave man an eternal living soul. When man sinned, that living soul had to encounter death. When death "in the flesh" came after a time, the soul too, would die]. (the second death in the lake of fire )

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

[ALL of God’s "original creation" will be destroyed because of sin. The soul will die the second death. (Rev 20:14) The earth will be destroyed by fire. The elements, or environments will melt with fervent heat. The heavens will be destroyed with a great noise. (2 Peter 3:10)]

[Notice the word "heavens"--more than one. The first heaven. (sky or atmosphere) The second heaven. (outer space and all things that are in it. Moon, stars, galaxies, ect.) The third heaven. (Heaven itself. 2 Cor 12:2)]

[God creates a "new man" (Eph 2:15;4:24; Col 3:10) a "new creature" (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15) God creates a ‘new heaven" and a "new earth".

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.]

[God gives a clue here as to what the earth will be like. It will not have a sea. There will be only "one" heaven. There will be no sky or atmosphere. There will be no outer space with sun, moon, stars, ect. ]

Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Rev 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.