Introduction Gal. 2:1-21
The Gospel in the old times came to the Jews, they were God's chosen people and in fact did most of his tidings with the nation of Israel. In later times God sought those who would do the will of God and obey his voice. This open doors to the gentiles to serve God as long as they had the heart to follow God. The heart is what is important to God and many times the heart is the issue that we as believers will have to address to serve God.
1. A Doctrinal Conflict (Gal. 2;1-21)
∑ Paul and Peter had different ministries one to the Jews and the other to the Gentiles
∑ Paul was a religious zealot (expound) that was confronted by God about his belief (Acts 9:1-16)
∑ Confrontation is not an evil but at times a necessary to bring heart issues to light
i. Paul sought to imprison and kill believers, God confronts him in the way
ii. Next thing Paul not only is saved and changed his ways but is to go to the Gentiles, HA HA
iii. There was a radical transformation when Paul was confronted with doctrine by God
iv. What is done by this type of confrontation is that you have to deal with truth, it's me Paul
v. Let's not confuse the issue, Paul your righteousness is not good enough, (Rom 3:23)
vi. (Isa 64:6) - Your best is a stinky rag to God, change your ways or be blind
∑ Peter had created a doctrine of super spirituality, we are Jews and circumcised, better than you
(Mark 2:23-28) & (Matt 12:9-15) - Jesus breaks Sabbath to do his work for mankind
∑ Barnabus was carried away will this self righteous belief, it will pledge your church
∑ Paul took a hard stance and in public to make a point about the truth, this is why we are open about Jesus. (Gal 6:12-15)
2. The Approach (Mark 11:25-26)
∑ You must deal with your heart prior to confrontation, the issue is forgiveness, God forgave Paul
∑ God understood Paul was responsible for Stephan and the church persecution but still loved him
∑ We feel if we confront and get our point across we have succeeded, I gave him a piece of my mind
a. (1Tim 5:19-22) Not something to be done in haste but in fear of God, (Luke 6:37-38)
b. Paul had to deal with firmness but grace his plan was to restore the church to sound doctrine, not easy
- This is why churches need the counsel to keep Pastors in check
- Not YES MEN, but Paul's, hey buddy your out of line, repent
- Same is said for church leaders men of grace, not condemnation
- If your just legalistic and have no compassion you have missed what the Gospel is about
- (John 3:17-18) - Redemption is what God is looking for not to condemn
- How you react to sin and error is important, you need God's heart
- (Matt 23:18-23) Keep in mind this scripture
3. Your Response (1 Sam 1:14-27)
∑ How do you react to confrontation?, mad, backbiting and complain
∑ Nobody likes rebuke but at times it is the only way we will listen, husbands and wives
∑ Paul response was to do a soul search with prayer and fasting, God sent him Ananias
We must search for God's will to things that are brought to our attention
Sermons, brothers, sister and even sinners words are a means to deal with faults in our life
Be open when you are confronted and allow God to examine you it's not a bad thing
It will save your soul like Paul and Peter
Very difficult because it requires honesty and a humble heart
Can you meet this requirement? It shows how mature you have become to God
All men at one time or another will have to deal with this, it's just a fact of life
∑ (11 Sam 12:13-15) David was guilty and repeated, God spared his life but there are consequences
Lost his son from Bathsheba
Absalom & Tamar
War, sometimes it's hard but imagine how much harder it would have been if David did not repent
Because of his response he also was a used of God and was related to Jesus
(Isa 18:20) Your invitation
2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
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, 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 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 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, perceived the grace that was given unto me, 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.
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 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.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
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?
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.
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 the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.
24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
1 Tim 5:19-22
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
1 Sam 1:14-27
14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.
15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.
17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.
20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.
21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.
22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.
23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.
24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.
27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
2 Sam 12:13-15
13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
Gal 2:1-10; Gal 2:11-14; Gal 2:15-19; Gal 2:20-21
Verses 1-10 Observe the apostle's faithfulness in giving a full account of the doctrine he had preached among the Gentiles, and was still resolved to preach, that of Christianity, free from all mixture of Judaism. This doctrine would be ungrateful to many, yet he was not afraid to own it. His care was, lest the success of his past labours should be lessened, or his future usefulness be hindered. While we simply depend upon God for success to our labours, we should use every proper caution to remove mistakes, and against opposers. There are things which may lawfully be complied with, yet, when they cannot be done without betraying the truth, they ought to be refused. We must not give place to any conduct, whereby the truth of the gospel would be reflected upon. Though Paul conversed with the other apostles, yet he did not receive any addition to his knowledge, or authority, from them. Perceiving the grace given to him, they gave unto him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, whereby they acknowledged that he was designed to the honour and office of an apostle as well as themselves. They agreed that these two should go to the heathen, while they continued to preach to the Jews; judging it agreeable to the mind of Christ, so to divide their work. Here we learn that the gospel is not ours, but God's; and that men are but the keepers of it; for this we are to praise God. The apostle showed his charitable disposition, and how ready he was to own the Jewish converts as brethren, though many would scarcely allow the like favour to the converted Gentiles; but mere difference of opinion was no reason to him why he should not help them. Herein is a pattern of Christian charity, which we should extend to all the disciples of Christ.
Notwithstanding Peter's character, yet, when Paul saw him
acting so as to hurt the truth of the gospel and the peace of the church, he was
not afraid to reprove him. When he saw that Peter and the others did not live up
to that principle which the gospel taught, and which they professed, namely,
That by the death of Christ the partition wall between Jew and Gentile was taken
down, and the observance of the law of Moses was no longer in force; as Peter's
offence was public, he publicly reproved him. There is a very great difference
between the prudence of St. Paul, who bore with, and used for a time, the
ceremonies of the law as not sinful, and the timid conduct of St. Peter, who, by
withdrawing from the Gentiles, led others to think that these ceremonies were
Paul, having thus shown he was not inferior to any apostle,
not to Peter himself, speaks of the great foundation doctrine of the gospel. For
what did we believe in Christ? Was it not that we might be justified by the
faith of Christ? If so, is it not foolish to go back to the law, and to expect
to be justified by the merit of moral works, or sacrifices, or ceremonies? The
occasion of this declaration doubtless arose from the ceremonial law; but the
argument is quite as strong against all dependence upon the works of the moral
law, as respects justification. To give the greater weight to this, it is added,
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found
sinners, is Christ the minister of sin? This would be very dishonourable to
Christ, and also very hurtful to them. By considering the law itself, he saw
that justification was not to be expected by the works of it, and that there was
now no further need of the sacrifices and cleansings of it, since they were done
away in Christ, by his offering up himself a sacrifice for us. He did not hope
or fear any thing from it; any more than a dead man from enemies. But the effect
was not a careless, lawless life. It was necessary, that he might live to God,
and be devoted to him through the motives and grace of the gospel. It is no new
prejudice, though a most unjust one, that the doctrine of justification by faith
alone, tends to encourage people in sin. Not so, for to take occasion from free
grace, or the doctrine of it, to live in sin, is to try to make Christ the
minister of sin, at any thought of which all Christian hearts would shudder.
Here, in his own person, the apostle describes the spiritual
or hidden life of a believer. The old man is crucified, Rom 6:6, but the new man
is living; sin is mortified, and grace is quickened. He has the comforts and the
triumphs of grace; yet that grace is not from himself, but from another.
Believers see themselves living in a state of dependence on Christ. Hence it is,
that though he lives in the flesh, yet he does not live after the flesh. Those
who have true faith, live by that faith; and faith fastens upon Christ's giving
himself for us. He loved me, and gave himself for me. As if the apostle said,
The Lord saw me fleeing from him more and more. Such wickedness, error, and
ignorance were in my will and understanding, that it was not possible for me to
be ransomed by any other means than by such a price. Consider well this price.
Here notice the false faith of many. And their profession is accordingly; they
have the form of godliness without the power of it. They think they believe the
articles of faith aright, but they are deceived. For to believe in Christ
crucified, is not only to believe that he was crucified, but also to believe
that I am crucified with him. And this is to know Christ crucified. Hence we
learn what is the nature of grace. God's grace cannot stand with man's merit.
Grace is no grace unless it is freely given every way. The more simply the
believer relies on Christ for every thing, the more devotedly does he walk
before Him in all his ordinances and commandments. Christ lives and reigns in
him, and he lives here on earth by faith in the Son of God, which works by love,
causes obedience, and changes into his holy image. Thus he neither abuses the
grace of God, nor makes it in vain.
(from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database. Copyright © 2000, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Gal 2:3; Gal 2:4; Gal 2:5; Gal 2:6; Gal 2:7; Gal 2:8; Gal 2:9; Gal 2:10; Gal 2:11; Gal 2:12; Gal 2:13; Gal 2:14; Gal 2:15; Gal 2:16; Gal 2:17; Gal 2:18; Gal 2:19; Gal 2:20; Gal 2:21
But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
[But neither Titus, who was with me] The apostle proceeds to state that his account was so satisfactory to the apostles, that they not only did not require him to insist on the necessity of circumcision among the Gentiles, but did not even require him to have Titus, who was a Greek, circumcised; though that might have appeared expedient, especially at Jerusalem, to have prevented false brethren from making a handle of his uncircumcision, and turning it to the prejudice of the Gospel in Judea.
[To spy out our liberty] The Judaizing brethren got introduced into the assembly of the apostles, in order to find out what was implied in the liberty of the Gospel, that they might know the better how to oppose Paul and his fellows in their preaching Christ to the Gentiles, and admitting them into the church without obliging them to observe circumcision and keep the law. The apostle saw that while such men were in the assembly it was better not to mention his mission among the Gentiles, lest, by means of those false brethren, occasion should be given to altercations and disputes; therefore he took the opportunity, by private conferences, to set the whole matter, relative to his work among the Gentiles, before the chief of the apostles.
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:
(No Clarke commentary on this verse.)
To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
[To whom we gave place by subjection] So fully satisfied was he with his divine call, and that he had in preaching among the Gentiles acted in strict conformity to it, that he did not submit in the least to the opinion of those Judaizing teachers; and therefore he continued to insist on the exemption of the Gentiles from the necessity of submitting to Jewish rites; that the truth of the Gospel-this grand doctrine, that the Gentiles are admitted by the Gospel of Christ to be fellow-heirs with the Jews, might continue; and thus the same doctrine is continued with you Gentiles.
But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
[Those who seemed to be somewhat] Toon (NT:3588) dokountoon (NT:1380) einai (NT:1510) ti (NT:5100). Those who were of acknowledged reputation; so the words should be understood, see Gal 2:2. The verb dokein (NT:1380), to seem, is repeatedly used by the best Greek writers, not to call the sense in question, or to lessen it, but to deepen and extend it. See the note at Luke 8:18. Perhaps this verse had best be translated thus, connecting diapherei (NT:1308) with apo (NT:575) toon (NT:3588) dokountoon (NT:1380): But there is no difference between those who were of acknowledged refutation and myself; God accepts no man's person; but, in the conferences which I held with them, they added nothing to me-gave me no new light; did not attempt to impose on me any obligation, because they saw that God had appointed me my work, and that his counsel was with me.
But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
[But contrariwise] They were so far from wishing me to alter my plan, or to introduce anything new in my doctrine to the Gentiles, that they saw plainly that my doctrine was the same as their own, coming immediately from the same source; and therefore gave to me and to Barnabas the right hand of fellowship.
[The Gospel of the uncircumcision] They saw, to their utmost satisfaction, that I was as expressly sent by God to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, as Peter was to preach it to the Jews.
(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
[For he that wrought effectually] Ho (NT:3588) energeesas (NT:1754) Petroo (NT:4074), eneergeesen (NT:1754) kai (NT:2532) emoi (NT:1698), The One who worked powerfully with Peter, worked powerfully also with me. He gave us both those talents which were suited to our work, and equal access in our different departments.
And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
[James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars] Hoi (NT:3588) dokountes (NT:1380) stuloi (NT:4769) einai (NT:1511). Who were known to be very eminent, and acknowledged as chief men among the apostles. See the note at Luke 8:18, for the meaning of the verb dokein (NT:1380), and see the note before at Gal 2:6.
Among the Jews, persons of great eminence and importance are represented as pillars and foundations of the world. So Abraham is said to be `amuwd (OT:5982) ha`owlaam (OT:5769), "this pillar of the universe; for by him to this day are the earth and heavens supported." Yalcut Rubeni, fol. 29. "Rabbi Simeon said, Beholds, we are the pillars of the world." Idra Rabba, s. 23:
"When Rabbi Jochanan ben Zachai was near death, he wept with a loud voice. His disciples said unto him, O Rabbi, thou high pillar, thou light of the world, thou strong hammer, why dost thou weep?" Aboth R. Nathan, chapter 24.
So, in Sohar Genes, fol. 5, it is said: "And he saw that Rab. Eleazar went up, and stood there, and with him sh™'ar (OT:7605) `amuwdiyn (OT:5982), the rest of the pillars (eminent men) who sat there."
Ibid., fol. 13: "These are the seven righteous men who cleave to the holy blessed God with a pure heart, and they are the seven pillars of the world:"
Ibid., fol. 21, on the words ,bearing fruit, Gen 1:11, it is said: "By this we are to understand the just one, who is the pillar of the world." See Sohoettgen, who adds: "These pillars must be distinguished from the foundation. The foundation of the church is Jesus Christ alone; the pillars are the more eminent teachers, which, without the foundation, are of no value."
[The right hands of fellowship] Giving the right hand to another was the mark of confidence, friendship, and fellowship. See Lev 6:2: If a soul-lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, bit™suwmet (OT:8667) yad (OT:3027), "in giving the hand."
Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
[Only they would that we should remember the poor] They saw plainly that God had as expressly called Barnabas and me to go to the Gentiles as he had called them to preach to the Jews; and they did not attempt to give us any new injunctions, only wished us to remember the poor in Judea; but this was a thing to which we were previous]y disposed.
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
[When Peter was come to Antioch] There has been a controversy whether Petros (NT:4074), Peter, here should not be read Keephas (NT:2786); and whether this Kephas was not a different person from Peter the apostle. This controversy has lasted more than 1,500 years, and is not yet settled. Instead of Petros (NT:4074), Peter, ABCH, several others of good note, with the Syriac, Erpenian, Coptic, Sahidic, AEthiopic, Armenian, later Syriac in the margin, Vulgate, and several of the Greek fathers, read Keephas (NT:2786). But whichsoever of these readings we adopt, the controversy is the same; for the great question is, whether this Peter or Kephas, no matter which name we adopt, be the same with Peter the apostle?
I shall not introduce the arguments pro and con, which may be all seen in Calmet's dissertation on the subject, but just mention the side where the strength of the evidence appears to lie.
That Peter the apostle is meant, the most sober and correct writers of antiquity maintain; and though some of the Catholic writers have fixed the whole that is here reprehensible on one Kephas, one of the seventy disciples, yet the most learned of their writers and of their popes, believe that Peter is meant. Some apparently plausible arguments support the contrary opinion, but they are of no weight when compared with those on the opposite side.
For before that certain 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.
[Before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles] Here was Peter's fault. He was convinced that God had pulled down the middle wall of partition that had so long separated the Jews and Gentiles, and he acted on this conviction, associating with the latter and eating with them; but when certain Jews came from James, who it appears considered the law still to be in force, lest he should place a stumbling-block before them, he withdrew from all commerce with the converted Gentiles, and acted as if he himself believed the law to be still in force, and that the distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles should still be kept up.
And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
[And the other Jews dissembled likewise] That is: Those who were converted to Christianity from among the Jews, and who had also been convinced that the obligation of the Jewish ritual had ceased, seeing Peter act this part, and also fearing them that were of the circumcision, they separated themselves from the converted Gentiles, and acted so as to convince the Jews that they still believed the law to be of moral obligation; and so powerful was the torrent of such an example, that the gentle, loving-hearted Barnabas was carried away by their dissimulation, autoon (NT:846) tee (NT:3588) hupokrisei (NT:5272), with their hypocrisy-feigning to be what they really were not.
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?
[That they walked not uprightly] Ouk (NT:3756) orthopodousin (NT:3716). They did not walk with a straight step, they did not maintain a firm footing.
[According to the truth of the Gospel] According to that true doctrine, which states that Christ is the end of the law for justification to everyone that believes; and that such are under no obligation to observe circumcision and the other peculiar rites and ceremonies of the law.
[If thou, being a Jew, livest] This was a cutting reproof. He was a Jew, and had been circumstantially scrupulous in everything relative to the law, and it required a miracle to convince him that the Gentiles were admitted, on their believing in Christ, to become members of the same Church, and fellow heirs of the hope of eternal life; and in consequence of this, he went in with the Gentiles and ate with them; i.e. associated with them as he would with Jews. But now, fearing them of the circumcision, he withdrew from this fellowship.
[Why compellest thou the Gentiles] Thou didst once consider that they were not under such an obligation, and now thou actest as if thou didst consider the law in full force; but thou art convinced that the contrary is the case, yet attest differently! This is hypocrisy.
We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
[We who are Jews by nature] We who belong to the Jewish nation-who have been born, bred, and educated Jews.
[And not sinners of the Gentiles] Hamartooloi (NT:268). Not without the knowledge of God, as they have been. Hamartoolos (NT:268) often signifies a pagan, merely one who had no knowledge of the true God. But among the nations or Gentiles many Jews sojourned; who in Scripture are known by the name of Hellenists, and these were distinguished from those who were termed ex (NT:1537) ethnoon (NT:1484) hamartooloi (NT:268), sinners of the Gentiles-heathens, in our common sense of the word; while the others, though living among them, were worshippers of the true God, and addicted to no species of idolatry. Some have translated this passage thus: We Jews, and not Gentiles, by nature sinners; for it is supposed that phusei (NT:5449) here refers to that natural corruption which every man brings into the world. Now, though the doctrine be true (and the state of man, and universal experience confirm it), yet it can neither be supported from this place, nor even from Eph 2:3. See the note at Rom 2:16. It appears, from the use of this word by some of the best Greek authors, that phusei (NT:5449) did not signify by nature, as we use the word, but expressed the natural birth, family, or nation of a man; to distinguish him from any other family or nation. I can give a few instances of this, which are brought to my hand in a small elegant pamphlet, written by Dr. Munter, the present Bishop of Zealand, entitled Observationum ex marmoribus Graecis Sacrarum Specimen, and which has been lent to me by the right honourable Lord Teignmouth, to whose condescension, kindness, and learning, many of my studies have been laid under particular obligation.
The word in question is the 28 th example in the above pamphlet, the substance of which is as follows: In an inscription on a Greek marble, given by Dr. Chandler, page 27, we find these words: Ho gambros mou Leoon Artemeisiou, ho epikaloumenos Iasoon, oikonei men Meileesios, phusei de Iaseus. "My son-in-law, Leo, the son of Artemisius, who is called a Jasian, is of the house of Milesius, though by nature he is from Jaso." That is: Jaso being a town of Caria, this Leo is said to be phusei Iaseus, by nature a Jasian, although he sprang from the Milesian family. The following examples will place this in a clearer light. Josephus, Ant. Jud., lib. 11 cap. 6 sec. 5, speaking of Amanes, the Amalekite, says: Kai gar phusei tois Ioudaiois apeechthaneto, hoti kai to genos toon Amalekitoon, ex hoon een autos, hup' autoon diephtharto. "For he was by nature incensed against the Jews, because the nation of the Amalekites, from whom he sprang, had been destroyed by them;" that is, he had a national prejudice or hatred to the Jewish people on the above account.
The following example from Dio Chrysostom, Orat. 31, is also to the point: Hoige (Atheenaioi) ton deina men Olumpion kekleekasi, oude phusei politeen heautoon. "For they (the Athenians) called this person an Olympian, though by nature he was not their citizen;" that is, he was called an Olympian, though he was not naturally of that city, or, in other words, he was not born there. From these examples, and the scope of the place, we may argue that the words, we who are Jews by nature, mean, we who were born in the land of Judea, and of Jewish parents. And hence, the passage in Eph 2:3, which speaks most evidently of the pagans, "and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others," may be thus understood. Being Gentiles, and brought up in gross darkness, without any knowledge of God, abandoned to all sensual living, we were, from our very condition, and practical state, exposed to punishment. This sense is at least equally good with that given of the words in Rom 2:16, where it is proved that phusei (NT:5449), in several connections, means truly, certainly, incontestably; "we were, beyond all controversy, exposed to punishment: because we had been born among idolaters, and have lived as they did. Here both senses of the word apply.
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.
[Knowing that a man is not justified] See the notes at Rom 1:17; 3:24,27; and 8:3. And see the note at Acts 13:38-39, in which places the subject of this verse is largely discussed. Neither the works of the Jewish law, nor of any other law, could justify any man; and if justification or pardon could not have been attained in some other way, the world must have perished. Justification by faith, in the boundless mercy of God, is as reasonable as it is Scriptural and necessary.
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.
[But if, while we seek to be justified] If, while we acknowledge that we must be justified by faith in Christ, we ourselves are found sinners, enjoining the necessity of observing the rites and ceremonies of the law, which never could and never can justify, and yet, by submitting to circumcision, we lay ourselves under the necessity of fulfilling the law, which is impossible, we thus constitute ourselves sinners; is, therefore, Christ the minister of sin?-Christ, who has taught us to renounce the law, and expect justification through his death? God forbid! that we should either act so, or think so.
For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
[For if I build again the things which I destroyed] If I act like a Jew, and enjoin the observance of the law on the Gentiles, which I have repeatedly asserted and proved to be abolished by the death of Christ, then I build up what I destroyed, and thus make myself a transgressor, by not observing the law in that way in which I appear to enjoin the observance of it upon others.
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
[For I through the law am dead to the law] In consequence of properly considering the nature and requisitions of the law, I am dead to all hope and expectation of help or salvation from the law, and have been obliged to take refuge in the Gospel of Christ. Or, probably the word nomos (NT:3551), is here put for a system of doctrine; as if he had said, I through the Gospel am dead to the law. The law itself is consigned to death; and another, the Gospel of Christ, is substituted in its stead. The law condemns to death, and I have embraced the Gospel that I might be saved from death, and live unto God.
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.
[I am crucified with Christ] The death of Christ on the cross has showed me that there is no hope of salvation by the law; I am therefore as truly dead to all expectation of justification by the law, as Christ was dead when he gave up the ghost upon the cross. Through him alone I live-enjoy a present life, and have a prospect of future glory.
[Yet not I] It is not of my natural life I speak, nor of any spiritual things which I myself have procured; but Christ liveth in me. God made man to be a habitation of his own Spirit: the law cannot live in me so as to give me a divine life; it does not animate, but kill; but Christ lives in me; he is the soul of my soul; so that I now live to God. But this life I have by the faith of the Son of God-by believing on Christ as a sacrifice for sin; for he loved me, and because he did so he gave himself for me-made himself a sacrifice unto death, that I might be saved from the bitter pains of death eternal.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
[I do not frustrate] Ouk (NT:3756) athetoo (NT:114). I do not contemn, despise, or render useless, the grace of God-the doctrine of Christ crucified; which I must do if I preach the necessity of observing the law.
[For if righteousness] If justification and salvation come by an observance of the law, then Christ is dead in vain; his death is useless if an observance of the law can save us; but no observance of the law can save us, and therefore there was an absolute necessity for the death of Christ.
1. The account of the prevarication of Peter in the preceding chapter teaches us a most useful lesson. Let him who assuredly standeth take heed lest he fall. No person in a state of probation is infallible; a man may fall into sin every moment; and he will, if he do not walk with God. Worldly prudence and fleshly wisdom would have concealed this account of the prevarication of Peter; but God tells truth. He is the fountain of it; and from him we are to expect not only nothing but the truth, but also the whole truth. If the Gospel were not of God we had never heard of the denial and prevarication of Peter, nor of the contention between Paul and Barnabas. And these accounts are recorded, not that men may justify or excuse their own delinquencies by them, but that they may avoid them; for he must be inexcusable who, with these histories before his eyes, ever denies his Master, or acts the part of a hyloocrite. Had the apostles acted in concert to impose a forgery on the world as a divine revelation, the imposture would have now come out. The falling out of the parties would have led to a discovery of the cheat. This relation, therefore, is an additional evidence of the truth of the Gospel.
2. On, I through the law am dead to the law, etc., pious Quesnel makes the following useful reflections: "The ceremonial law, which is no more than a type and shadow of him, destroys itself by showing us Jesus Christ, who is the truth and the substance. The moral law, by leaving us under our own inability under sin and the curse, makes us perceive the necessity of the law of the heart, and of a Saviour to give it. The law is for the old man, as to its terrible and servile part; and it was crucified and died with Christ upon the cross as well as the old man. The new man, and the new law, require a new sacrifice. What need has he of other sacrifices who has Jesus Christ? They in whom this sacrifice lives, do themselves live to God alone; but none can live to him except by faith; and this life of faith consists in dying with Christ to the things of the present world, and in expecting, as co-heirs with him, the blessings of the eternal world. And who can work all this in us but only he who lives in us? That man has arrived to a high degree of mortification, who can say Christ liveth in me, and I am crucified to the world. Such a one must have renounced not only earthly things, but his own self also."
3. Is there, or can there be, one well grounded hope of eternal life but what comes through the Gospel? In vain has the ingenuity of man tortured itself for more than 5000 years, to find out some method of mending the human heart: none has been discovered that even promised anything likely to be effectual. The Gospel of Christ not only mends but completely cures and new makes infected nature. Who is duly apprised of the infinite excellency and importance of the Gospel? What was the world before its appearance? What would it be were this light extinguished? Blessed Lord! let neither infidelity nor false doctrine rise up to obscure this heavenly splendour!
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)