S- Galatians 2:14-16 But as soon as I saw that they were not straightforward and were not living up to the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas (Peter) before everybody present, If you, though born a Jew, can live [as you have been living] like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how do you dare now to urge and practically force the Gentiles to [comply with the ritual of Judaism and] live like Jews? [I went on to say] Although we ourselves (you and I) are Jews by birth and not Gentile (heathen) sinners, Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God not by works of the Law, but [only] through faith and [absolute] reliance on and adherence to and trust in Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). [Therefore] even we [ourselves] have believed on Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law [for we cannot be justified by any observance of the ritual of the Law given by Moses], because by keeping legal rituals and by works no human being can ever be justified (declared righteous and put in right standing with God). (AMP)
O/A-- Peter had contradicted the gospel. The gospel proclaimed that salvation for both Jews and Gentiles was by way of the cross of Christ and union with Christ. We need to be encouraged by Paul's courageous stand to take our own stand against Christians who repeat Peter's mistake in the church today.
This text is an exhortation to us as a people to recognize how terrible a thing is hypocrisy. Hypocritical Christianity is our greatest enemy. A Christian faith that says one thing but acts differently, a Christian faith that declares truth and lives by lies is devastating to the cause of Christ.
Peter's hypocrisy sets the stage for Paul to teach the most basic truth in all of Scripture – justification. Paul says in verse 15 is that he and Peter were brought up as law-keeping Jews, not as law-neglecting Gentiles, but now both he and Peter have come to "know" that no one can gain a just standing before God on the basis of our efforts or the keeping of laws. Paul stresses that we are justified by faith alone, apart from the deeds of the law. So what does "justification" mean? The root of the word means: "righteousness." "right standing before God." aul writes, "Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus...," he is speaking of a person's legal standing with God being declared right.
We find this to be a critical matter when we consider the character of God. Whether we look in the Old or New Testaments, we always find God consistently righteous. If we could somehow measure infinity, then we could begin to explain the extent of God's righteousness, goodness, holiness, and justice. He is altogether pure; He is holy, holy, holy; He is light without even the least trace of darkness. The nature of God demands that each sin and each sinner be dealt with. The law of God that is bound up in His nature requires that each offense be paid accordingly.
We stand before God guilty; our only hope is in Jesus Christ. It is the fact that guilty sinners are brought into a right standing with God through faith in Christ Jesus. We are covered by His Blood. God makes us righteous, justifies us-- We can do nothing to accomplish this on our own.
Because He is gracious, full of mercy, and out of the abundance of His love, God has provided the solitary way for sinners to be declared righteous before Him, and the way for God to be just in declaring sinners righteous. (Romans 3:21-26—Justification through faith)
2 Corinthians 5:21---- For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].
Romans 3:30 – Since it is one and the same God Who will justify the circumcised by faith [which germinated from Abraham] and the uncircumcised through their [newly acquired] faith. [For it is the same trusting faith in both cases, a firmly relying faith in Jesus Christ].
The 1689 "London Baptist Confession" puts it like this:
God freely justifies the persons whom He effectually calls. He does this, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins and by accounting them, and accepting them, as righteous. This He does for Christ's sake alone, and not for anything wrought in them or done by them. The righteousness which is imputed to them, that is, reckoned to their account, is neither their faith nor the act of believing nor any other obedience to the gospel which they have rendered, but Christ's obedience alone. Christ's obedience is twofold--His active obedience rendered to the entire divine law, and His passive obedience rendered in His death. Those thus justified receive and rest by faith upon Christ's righteousness; and this faith they have, not of themselves, but as the gift of God.
It is this righteousness in justification, received by faith alone in Jesus Christ, that is the heart of the gospel. From it, we cannot waver. Concerning it, we cannot offer an alternative. In it alone can we be declared righteous before God.
None of us are beyond temptation. None of us are so spiritually strong and so mature that we don't need prayer. If Peter and Barnabas could get caught up in hypocrisy, so could any of us. We need to pray for each other!!!
P-- Father I thank you for you are an awesome God! I am grateful to you for all things you have done and are going to do in each of us. I pray that each of the women here studying your word "That they May Be Sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness." Help us Lord, without you we have nothing, but in you we can do all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Please feel free to Share anything God is showing you in the study in the comment section or privately. I would love to hear from you.
With Love in Christ, Blessings to you,