Saturday, February 3, 2018

Galatians Chapter 2

An in depth study of Galatians 2, and a look at the debate between Paul and James in their conflict between grace and law.


  • Galatians 2:1-10
  • Acts 15:1-5
  • Acts 15:6-12
  • Acts 15:13-20
  • 1 Corinthians 10:25-33
  • Galatians 2:11-14
  • James 2:17-24
  • Romans 4:2-5
  • James 1:1-2
  • Galatians 2:15-21

Review of Galatians 1

  • Originally Paul was one of the Jews persecuting Christians
  • Jesus appeared to Paul in a vision and converted him to Christianity
  • Paul’s primary mission was to convert Gentiles to Christianity
  • The book of Galatians is a letter written by the apostle Paul to the churches in the area of Galatia
  • It was a response to a group of Jewish Christians, called the Judaizers, who had came to the churches after he left and convinced them that they had to follow the law
  • Specifically they taught that Gentiles needed to be circumcised
  • The Judaizers also questioned Paul’s credibility
  • Paul teaches that the gospel revolves around salvation by faith through grace
  • There are no sins that you can commit that will make you lose your salvation
  • We discussed that similar to how the Judaizers added to the gospel, many churches add to the gospel today
  • Saying that you need faith, but in addition have to:
  1. Become a certain denomination
  2. Attend church
  3. Pray a certain way
  4. Confess your sins
  5. Tithe regularly
  6. Be baptized
  • These are good things to do, but they aren’t requirements for salvation
  • Similarly churches teach that you have faith, but you cannot go to Heaven if you:
  1. Are a homosexual
  2. Commit adultery
  3. Have premarital sex
  4. Get divorced
  • These are all sins, but they don’t keep you out of Heaven

Galatians 2: 1-10

Galatians 2:1-10 1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. 3 But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. 5 But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. 6But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. 7But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8(for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles),
9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.
  • Jerusalem was the “headquarters” of the new Christian movement
  • It was the “main church”
  • Paul went to tell them about the revelation that he was sent to the Gentiles
  • Paul went to share his revelation that the gospel was also for the Gentiles
  • The gospel of the uncircumcision was entrusted to Paul
  • The gospel of the circumcised was entrusted to Peter

James, Peter and John

Cephas is Peter

These were the disciples who were in Jesus’ inner circle
  • These seem to be the leaders of the “The Way”
  • These are the disciples that built the church
  • Along with Paul these would need to be considered the most important influencers of early Christianity
Paul went to share with them that he was appointed to share the gospel to the Gentiles
Note that James is listed first
  • We usually hear them listed as “Peter, James and John”
  • Often the list would be ordered by who’s highest in rank
  • Here we see that at this point in time Luke thought it appropriate to list James first
Who was James?
  • James was Jesus’ brother
  • James was the first Bishop of Jerusalem
  • Catholic tradition says he was appointed by Peter
  • Although scripture doesn’t seem to support that type of relationship

Acts 15 - The Council at Jerusalem

  • Here’s another version of Peter’s story
  • (scholars differ in opinion if this was the same visit or a future visit)
Acts 15:1-5
1Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. 3Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren. 4When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. 5But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.”
  • Paul went to Jerusalem to discuss whether Gentiles needed to be circumcised
  • Everyone agreed that Gentiles could become Christians, but the argued over whether they needed to be circumcised
Acts 15:6-12
      6The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. 7After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8“And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10“Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11“But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
      12All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
  • Peter was the first apostle to preach to Gentiles
  • Note that Peter agreed with Paul that we are saved by grace
  • Earlier in Acts Peter preached that you needed to repent and be baptized
Peter and Gentile Cornelius
  • In Acts 10, Peter had had a vision of a sheet coming down from Heaven filled with clean and unclean meats
  • God told Peter to eat the meat even though it was considered unclean to Jews
  • God said that now everything He created was to be considered “clean”
  • Peter realized the vision was telling him that he should no longer consider the Gentiles unclean
  • Peter then went to the house of the Gentile named Cornelius and preached the gospel to him and his relatives and close friends
  • They were saved and the Holy Spirit came upon them
Acts 15:13-20  - James’s Judgment
 13After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me. 14“Simeon [James’ brother] has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name. 15“With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written,
      16‘AFTER THESE THINGS I will return,
            AND I WILL RESTORE IT,
19“Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, 20but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 
  • Simeon, James’ brother, had also prophesied that the gospel was to be given to the Gentiles

James’ Judgement

Notice that James made the final judgment on the matter
It appears that Paul, Peter and the other apostles submitted to the judgment of James
James added 3 stipulations that the Gentiles had to follow after becoming Christians
  • They couldn’t eat meat sacrificed to idols
  • They couldn’t be sexually promiscuous
  • They couldn’t eat the blood of an animal
  • The Jews had to drain the blood out of animals before eating them
  • God said “the life” is in the blood
  • If an animal is strangled that means the blood wasn’t drained out of it
James added some requirements of the law that the Gentiles had to follow

Forbidden Food

Paul re-addresses this issue in a later letter...

1 Corinthians 10:25-33
25Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”
27If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
  • Paul says that if you are in a situation that you don’t know if the meat was prepared in a Kosher manner don’t worry about it
  • Don’t ask
  • He implies it’s okay to eat with non-believers
  • And you can eat whatever they serve
  • This doesn’t imply that they don’t eat Kosher at home
  • He says don’t eat it if they tell you it was sacrificed to an idol
  • For your conscience
  • For the sake of the unbeliever that sees you
How can this be applied today?
  • Drinking alcohol
  • What about halal (Muslim version of Kosher) food?
  • People like it because of today’s focus on organic food
  • Jews can even eat it
  • Was it sacrificed to another god?

Galatians 2:11-14

Galatians 2:11-14
11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
  • Peter was eating with the Gentiles and also eating what they ate.
  • Peter had already converted a Gentile to Christianity

Why Paul Confronted Peter

Paul says Peter was “not straightforward about the truth of the gospel”
  • Paul faulted Peter for not teaching the whole freedom that the gospel allows
  • Peter is choosing his association because of restrictions of the law
Paul confronted Peter for being “legalistic”
  • This is what we saw Jesus doing as well
There are Pastors today that purposely make the gospel unclear because they think people will sin if they know that they can still go to Heaven
  • They don’t want to give people a “license to sin”
  • Even though they know that your works don’t save you

Paul vs James

The whole reason Peter refused to eat with the Gentiles was because he didn’t want word to get back to James
It says Peter feared “certain men from James”
  • We don’t know if this means James sent them
  • Or if it just means they came from Jerusalem, the headquarters
  • This implies that James would be in support of Peter not eating with the Gentiles
  • The also gives another indication of James being of higher authority than Peter
Earlier, we saw that although James agree Gentiles didn’t need to be circumcised he still felt they should follow other food and purity laws
The letters of Paul and James appear to teach different things about whether your works play a part in your salvation
  • This is a heavily debated topic among churches today
  • The debate is over Grace vs Law

Grace vs Law

James emphasized the importance of “works”
Paul emphasizes the importance of grace and faith

James 2:17-24
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
  • James clearly states that he believes that man is justified by works in addition to faith
  • James says Abraham was justified by his works in addition to faith
These are the verses legalistic churches use as proof  that your works are needed for salvation in addition to your faith
  • This could imply that you can lose your salvation
Romans 4:2-5 (Paul)
2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”a
4Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
  • Paul states that Abraham was not justified by works but by his belief
  • If Abraham was justified by his works then he could brag on his own effort
  • Since he was justified by his belief he has to give God the credit
Do you need works for salvation?
  • This is a great debate that divides the church
  • Those churches who are legalistic point to James’ writing as evidence
  • Those churches who emphasize grace by faith point to Paul’s writings
The Catholic church prescribes to the doctrine that you can lose your salvation
  • You need to do works to keep your salvation
  • Most Protestants teach justification by faith alone

Reconciling Peter vs James

Martin Luther os quoted as saying “if Galatians was a woman he'd marry her”
Martin Luther is also said to have stated he wanted to “throw Jimmy in the stove”
  • Referring to the book of James
What are possible reasons for the apparent conflict between Paul and James?

All the Bible  Books Don't Apply to Everyone

We saw that the Jews and  Gentiles didn't receive salvation through the same process
Jews had to be baptized to receive the Holy Spirit...Gentiles didn’t
  • The Jews in a Jerusalem were saved and then had to repent and be baptized to receive the Holy Spirit
  • When Peter preached to Cornelius the Holy Spirit came upon them immediately
One thought is that the Jews and Gentiles had different requirements
  • The law was only given to the Jews
  • God never commanded Gentiles to follow the law
  • Jesus didn’t come to change the law for the Jews
  • The Gentiles were never under the old covenant
Who was Paul writing to?
  • Gentiles
Who was James writing to?
  • The Jews
James 1:1-2
1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
  • James was writing to the Jews

The Different Books are for Different Ages

All of the books of the New Testament aren't for this present age
The Book of James is only relevant after the rapture/tribulation
  • It will be relevant to the Jews who are here after/during the tribulation
The New Testament books are ordered by the period they address
  • Starts with the 4 Gospels
  • Old Testament because New Testament starts at Jesus’ death
  • Acts is the transition period from Jews to Gentiles
  • A transition from teaching to the Jews, to teaching to the Gentiles
  • The book of Acts starts with Peter and transitions to Paul
  • At the beginning of the book, the Jews received the Holy Spirit through repenting and being baptized
  • After the middle of the book the Gentiles receive the Holy Spirit by faith / belief
  • Paul’s epistles - church age
  • Romans - Philemon
  • This is for the current age
  • Paul's writing emphasize salvation by faith
  • Hebrew transition from the church age to the  rapture/tribulation time
  • From here on, the books are written to the Jews
  • James, Peter and John
  • Notice their books show up in the same order as given in Acts 15
  • Are the books are ordered by importance?  (Jesus,) Paul, James, Peter, John
  • James
  • 1 & 2 Peter
  • 1, 2 & 3 John
  • Jude
  • Revelation
What was taught at the beginning of Acts will be taught to the Jews after the rapture
  • Repent and be baptized
  • Signs and wonders

Not in Conflict

Some believe that the books aren’t in conflict and the differences can be explained.
For Paul, "justification by works" (which he rejects) means "gaining right standing with God by the merit of works." For James, "justification by works" (which he accepts) means "maintaining a right standing with God by faith along with the necessary evidence of faith, namely, the works of love."
  -- John Piper
Paul is concerned with how you get saved.
James is concerned with how you live after you’re saved.
  • The evidence of your salvation
They are writing to different audiences about different subjects
Example: Doctor telling patient about exercise
Different Audiences
Paul was defining how to be justified
James pointed out the two different types of faith of those who are justified
Paul was giving a doctrinal explanation of salvation
James was looking at the practical application to Christian life

Galatians 2:15-21

We clearly see Paul’s take on faith vs works here…

Galatians 2:15-21
15“We [Peter and Paul] are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. 17“But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18“For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19“For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the 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. 21“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
  • If righteousness comes from the law Jesus died in vain
  • Paul is clear that faith alone leads you to salvation
  • Works don't save
  • Following the law doesn't justify you

Justification vs Sanctification

Justification means to be declared righteous
  • Justification is the act of declaring you not guilty of the law
Sanctification is the process of becoming righteous
  • We are in the process of becoming more and more like Christ
We will never be sinless, but the more we grow in Christ we should “sin less”
We only get justified once


Christianity was initially seen as a Jewish religion
  • Jesus was believed to be the Messiah for the Jews
  • Those wishing to become Christians needed to first become Jews
  • Therefore they needed to be circumcised and follow the Jewish laws
God revealed to Paul, Peter, Simeon, and Ananias that Jesus also died for the Gentiles.
We can all receive salvation through faith because Jesus died for our sins.
We don’t have to do work to become saved because Jesus did the work.  But we need to allow Jesus to continue to work in us after we’re saved.  
  • We can't use grace as an excuse to sin
  • We will never be sinless, but we should sin less in some areas of our lives the longer we walk in Christ.
We try to please God because we love Him not because we fear His punishment or think we might go to hell.
  • We try to live righteously not to earn our salvation but in gratitude for the salvation that we received that we didn’t deserve
If my salvation is based on whether or not I sin then Jesus died for nothing
  • When I work to gain salvation I declare that Jesus’ sacrifice was done in vain

Presenter: Michael Leadon


Embrace to Embrace

Galatians 2:1 to 5 (Robert Breaker)

Galatians 2:6-10

Galatians 2:11-21

Paul Confronts Peter - #5 - Galatians for Beginners

The Jerusalem Council: Gal. 2.1-10 = Acts 15


Peter Converted Gentiles

Acts 10:28
28 And he said to them, "You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.
  • Peter told Cornelius that he could now associate with Gentiles
  • God told Peter it was okay
Acts 10:44-46
44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Paul’s Assignment to the Gentiles

  • Paul went to see because of his revelation that the gospel was also for the Gentiles
  • The gospel of the uncircumcision was entrusted to Paul
  • The gospel of the circumcised was entrusted to Peter
The mystery was first revealed to Ananias:
Acts 9:13-16
13But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; 14and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
  • God told Ananias that Paul was going to be used to preach to the Gentiles
  • This was before Paul knew
  • Luke, the author of Acts,  is a second witness to Paul’s revelation

Confronting Your Brother (Application)

The gospel must form my identity more so than my:
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Political party
  • Social status
  • Income bracket
  • Sexual preference
Keys to confrontation (Pastor Bryan)
  1.  Is it a gospel issue?
  1. Or is it a legal issue
  1. Do it face to face
  2. Love
So faith vs works is something you can confront another Christian about.
  • Someone who thinks Christians aren’t supposed to do ______
  • Whether someone is following the laws is not something to confront another Christian about
How do we sometimes compromise the gospel by fear of Christians?
  • Not wanting to associate with people from NBCC or Destiny or vice versa


Acts 10:38-45
38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
39 "We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.
40 "God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible,
41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
42 "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.
43 "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.
45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.

No comments:

Post a Comment