Monday, July 10, 2017

The Apostle by Chapter | Galatians Chapter 2

By Sam Nobles

In chapter 1, we saw grace declared in Paul’s message and modeled in the way he lived his life. In chapter 2, we will now see that same grace defended in his ministry relationship with the church as a corporate body, and specifically with Peter on a personal level.

The Runner (v.1-5)
Paul saw himself as a runner in a race, and he was positive that he was on the right track and moving with a sense of purpose. The Judaizers had somehow found a way to infiltrate the church and were teaching that circumcision was essential for salvation. This burden was getting the believers off of the right track of following and trusting Jesus alone for their salvation.

The Steward (v.6-10)
Paul summarizes his point: his gospel or apostolic credentials did not depend on any sort of approval or influence from men, even influential men.[i] God committed the gospel into the hands of his people to not only guard it, but to share it with others. The Lord is not in need of popular celebrities to spread his message, rather he is looking for faithful stewards.

The Watchman (v.11-13)
Though Peter had been in agreement with welcoming Gentiles into the church without bringing them under the Law of Moses, when Peter came to Antioch (Paul’s home church), it was another story.[ii]  Peter refused to have anything to do with the Gentile Christians when certain Jewish believers arrived from Jerusalem. Paul was not afraid to confront the Apostle Peter when he moved away from the grace of the gospel message.

The Destroyer (v.14-21)
Paul brings it to Peter’s attention that they are justified before God only because of the finished work of Jesus, not by their keeping of the law. Jesus destroyed the Law by fulfilling it perfectly. It was his death and resurrection that tore down the wall between the Jews and Gentiles. To go back to the Law is to rebuild what Jesus tore down and to say that he did not really save us when we trusted him.[iii]

Scripture to Claim:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.(Galatians 2:20 ESV)

David Guzik, Galatians and Ephesians (Enduring Word Media, 2012).
[1] Ibid.
[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Galatians: Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality, New edition (David C. Cook, 2010).

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