INTERNET BIBLE STUDIES Galatians Lesson 2
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Galatians Chapter 2

Memory verses for this week: 2 Pet 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  

Introduction:     Last week in Chapter One, Paul encouraged the church to not follow after false teaching concerning the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.   He said many were teaching other gospels, but there was only one true gospel.  This week we begin as Paul tells of his third visit to Jerusalem.

 

I.            Purpose of Paulís Visit 

Galatians 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.

Paul gives record of how that Barnabas and Titus had come with him on his third visit to Jerusalem.  This was 14 years after the first trip that he mentioned in verse 18 of Chapter 1.  The first trip to Jerusalem was documented in two places in the book of Acts.

Acts 9:26  And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. 29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. 30 Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.

Acts 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; 18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. 19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee: 20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. 21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.  

His second trip to Jerusalem was records in Acts Chapter 15.

Acts 15:1   And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. 4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. 5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 

6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. 12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. 13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. 19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.  28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. 30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:

As mentioned earlier, Barnabas and Titus came with Paul on this trip.  Titus was a man saved under Paulís ministry.

Titus 1:4   To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Titus was Paulís helper and partner in the work of God.

2 Corinthians 8: For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;

We spoke last week about how that Paul had received his instructions from the Lord by a direct revelation.   While in Jerusalem, Paul had met privately with the apostles and elders of the church.

Acts 15:4  And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

Paul explained to them about the gospel that he preached, and in verse 1 of chapter 15 of Acts, we read that he came to help settle the controversy over circumcision.  

Acts 15:1   And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

 

 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:

Paul explains that Titus was a Greek who had been saved in the church with him in Jerusalem.    This circumcision was not a requirement at all, which means the other brethren were in agreement with Paul on this issue.   Circumcision was a Jewish custom from the law.   We are not under the law, but now under grace. Paul then speaks of false brethren sneaking into the church who were trying to take away the liberty we have in Jesus Christ.

 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 manís 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:)

Those in the church at Jerusalem were convinced that God had called Paul to be a missionary to the uncircumcised as Peter had been called to those that were circumcised.   Verse 8 speaks of how that it was the same one (God) who had called  Paul as had called Peter into apostleship.

J. Vernon McGee had this excellent comment on verse 7 and 8.

Letís understand that there were not two gospels in the sense of Peterís gospel and Paulís gospel. These men were in complete agreement. The gospel of the circumcision and the gospel of the uncircumcision refer to the groups the gospel was going to. The Gentiles were the group that Paul was speaking to. He was called to go to the Gentiles, the uncircumcised. Peter was called to go to his own Jewish brethren who were the circumcised. [1]

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.

Apparently, James, Cephas, and John were leaders there in the church at Jerusalem.   These men gave the right hand of fellowship to Paul and his companions when they saw the grace God had given unto them.

II.    Paul Withstands Peter 

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?  

After Paul came to Jerusalem, Peter made a visit to Antioch, and when he first got there, he took a meal with the Gentiles.  This was the same as he did at the house of Cornelius when God gave him the vision of the sheet coming down and God commanding him to eat of all kinds, signifying that the Gentiles were to be accepted in Godís sight equally with the Jews.   Now when James came with a group of Jews, Peter withdrew from the Gentiles and separated himself, fearing that those of the circumcision might turn on him.   Because of his example, others also separated themselves.     Paul rebukes him for this.  We need to not fear man, we need to fear God. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

 

Peter had been guilty of drawing others away from serving God before. 

John 21:3  Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

Most of the time, it is better to encourage your weak brothers and sisters in a private manner.   We need the help of the Lord to know how and when to rebuke those in sin. Paul rebuked Peter before others in order to cause them all to fear.  Sometimes rebuke is good for us, and helps us to get back on the straight and narrow path God would have us to walk. 

1 Timothy 5:20  Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

 

III.   The Righteousness of Faith 

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. 

In verses 15 to 21, we have a record of the sermon Paul brought to the elders of the churches of Antioch and Jerusalem.  We never know the importance of a message, but one day, God will probably make us understand that those things spoken in truth had a far greater impact than any of us ever knew.  In this message, Paul give the correct relationship between the law and faith to salvation.   Paul tells us that the law as given to stop every mouth and to make the whole world become guilty before God.  It was our schoolmaster. 

Rom 3:19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Rom 3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

   Rom 3:22  Even the      righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

 

Romans 4:5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 

Romans 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

We see that it is not the works of the law that justifies the sinner, but it is faith.   Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.  Both Paul and Peter had been justified the same way, by Faith in Jesus Christ.   No flesh shall ever be justified by the law.

Gal 3:21  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.Gal 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 

 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.  

Paul warns that if we be found sinners while we seek to be justified by Christ, it is not Christ who is the minister of sin.  It is the evil within our evil fleshly bodies.  God forbid that we be constantly involved in sin as Christians.

 

Gal 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

 

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. 

Paul says that through the law, he was dead to the law, in order that he might live unto God.  When we are walking worthy of God, we will be like Paul, crucified with Christ.  We will put the sin in our lives under the cross and truly die to self.   The life Paul now lived was lived by faith.  He said that Christ gave Himself for Paul.   And He died for you, and for me. 

2 Corinthians 5:21   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  

If man could be saved by the law, then Christ would have died on Calvary in vain.  But man can not be saved by the law. 

Hebrews 9:11   But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 9: 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

 

 

 

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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

 

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