In Line with the Gospel (Galatians 2:11-21)

WW2015-wk3So far in Galatians we have seen there is no other gospel than the one Paul preached (1:1-2:10). Paul had the authority to preach such a message because God had called him to it and had given him such a responsibility. We see this come up again in 2:11-21. Paul has been addressing the fact there is not many gospel messages but one. There may be many false gospels out there but only one has the genuine mark by God. It is this gospel Paul loves, meditates, and acts on. He does first so by calling Peter out in his sin (verse 14). Peter had acted hypocritically by separating himself from Gentiles and congregating with the Jews because of his fear of the Jews. Moreover, Peter’s example led Barnabas astray in hypocrisy as well (verse 13). Two things are worth noting here. Peter was neglecting the Gentiles due to the fear of man. Rather than line up with the truth of the gospel that God saves peoples from all nations and tribes, he functionally sided with the Jews. Paul then exclaims, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (verse 14). What Paul does next is he goes into the truth of the gospel. Peter, Paul, and even we are not saved by works of the law. We cannot. What we are saved by is through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no works we can do to be right with God. If we think we can, we are just proving ourselves to be sinners and transgressors (verse 18). Therefore, if we have placed faith in Christ and have repented of our transgressions, then we have been crucified with Christ. We lose our lives so that Christ may live in us (verse 20). Christ came to live, die on the cross, and rise again so He could save us and live in us by His Spirit. We are saved and justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). That is what it means to live in line with the gospel. To believe in any other way or in any other gospel is to believe Christ died for no purpose (verse 21). But praise God for His grace!

Reflection Time:

  • Have you been speaking the truth of Christ and showing the love of Christ in a way that is in line with the gospel? Intentionally share the message of by grace alone through faith alone in Christ and do so indiscriminately.

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