Paul meets the leaders in Jerusalem. They approve of his gospel message. Paul publicly rebukes Peter. We are justified by faith. Jesus Christ is all we need. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Then after a period of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me.
after a period of fourteen years. Paul was absolutely unconcerned about what the officials thought of him in Jerusalem.
He did not visit them again for 14 years.
VERSE 2. I went up by revelation, and I laid before them the Good News which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately before those who were respected, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.
by revelation. The Greek word is ἀποκάλυψιν (“apokalypsin”). It means an unveiling, an uncovering, a revealing, a revelation.
VERSE 4. This was because of the false brothers secretly brought in, who stole in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage,
false brothers. That is, the Judaizers. They put upon Gentile Christians the yoke of following the religious Laws of the Lord Testament.
liberty which we have in Christ Jesus. A Christian believer is free. We are free from religious laws.
Yet most of us live in slavery to the religious laws of our denominations.
VERSE 5. to whom we gave no place in the way of subjection, not for an hour, that the truth of the Good News might continue with you.
we gave no place in the way of subjection. Paul was not subordinate to the Jerusalem leaders.
VERSE 6. But from those who were reputed to be important—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God doesn’t show partiality to man—they, I say, who were respected imparted nothing to me,
reputed to be important. Paul does not treat “important” people differently than anybody else. On the contrary, he seems to go out of his way to NOT respect them.
Paul did not even bother to learn who the leaders were.
imparted nothing to me. That is, “made me add nothing.” The apostles in Jerusalem did not make Paul change his gospel message to the Gentiles.
VERSE 9. and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, those who were reputed to be pillars, gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision.
reputed to be pillars. Once again we see that Paul did not even bother to learn who the leaders were.
remember the poor. The term “the poor” was a special code. It meant “the believers in Jerusalem. Paul was to send money to the apostles in Jerusalem.
1 Corinthians 16:1. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I commanded the assemblies of Galatia, you do likewise.
I resisted him to his face. In this situation, Peter was clearly in the wrong. Paul confronted him about this.
Paul stood for the truth of a matter, even if he embarrassed “Pope” Peter.
Paul did not make it easy for people around him.
VERSE 13. And the rest of the Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
even Barnabas was carried away. Barnabas was more of a “company man” than Paul, taking his cues from the leaders and falling into conformity.
However, Paul only took his cues from the Lord Jesus Christ.
VERSE 14. But when I saw that they didn’t walk uprightly according to the truth of the Good News, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live as the Gentiles do, and not as the Jews do, why do you compel the Gentiles to live as the Jews do?
before them all. Paul’s rebuke of Peter took place in public.
Paul did not “save face” for Peter by waiting to confront him in private.
sinners. The Greek word is ἁμαρτωλοί (“hamartōloi”). It means sinning, sinful, depraved, detestable.
VERSE 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 no flesh will be justified by the works of the law.
Romans 7:4. Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might produce fruit to God.
JESUS CHRIST IS ALL WE NEED
VERSE 20. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.
This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Letter to the Galatians.
BACKGROUND. New missionaries had arrived in Galatia. They told the believers that Jesus Christ was not enough.
They also need to obey the Old Testament laws and regulations. Otherwise, these new missionaries said, Jesus Christ is of worthless and the believers will not have eternal life.
Paul writes the Galatians to say that faith in Jesus Christ is all we need, both for initial conversion and for daily living.
We live for Jesus Christ, not for religious laws and regulations.
I have been crucified with Christ. What does this mean? It means that when we were baptized into Jesus Christ, we were made to share in his life and death, his resurrection and ultimate victory.
And we are crucified with Christ each day since. We are crucified to the enthronement of self in our lives. Our ego is no longer Command Central. We yield that throne to Jesus Christ. He becomes the center of our lives.
it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me. It is not by our own strength that we can live this new life. No, Christ takes up his abode within us.
His Divine Power pulses within us, that we may overcome sin, that we may grow as his disciples, that we may experience joy and victory.
Yet we’re not mere puppets of Jesus Christ. We still have free will. We can do whatever we want. We can grow in holiness. Or we can live for self.
Colossians 3:4. When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory.
We are to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith. Does Jesus Christ live in you? Read more »
I live by faith in the Son of God. By faith, we make conscious decisions to do good, not evil. We choose the path of love, not hate or fear. Faith unleashes Christ’s power into our lives, and we can access that power each day. What really counts is Christ, and living by faith in him.
who loved me, and gave himself up for me. Christ loves us so much that he gave his life for us on the cross.
So thanks to Jesus Christ, we can let go. In our spiritual lives, we can let go of legalism and pride. Sin and guilt and shame: Sayonara. Selfishness? Hasta la vista, baby!
We are blessed to know Jesus Christ. He lives within us! We get to listen to him. We get to live by love. We get to experience Christ’s power for the good. Christ sets us free!
Galatians 1:1. Paul, an apostle—not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
VERSE 21. I don’t reject the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”
if righteousness is through the law. This is Paul’s point. If we could earn our own righteousness by obeying the religious laws, then Jesus Christ died for nothing.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.