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.
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
Purpose of Paulís Visit
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.
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.
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.
second trip to Jerusalem was records in Acts Chapter 15.
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:
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.
was Paulís helper and partner in the work of God.
For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they
were willing of themselves;
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.
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.
men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said,
Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be
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:
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.
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:)
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.
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. 
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.
James, Cephas, and John were leaders there in the church at
men gave the right hand of fellowship to Paul and his companions
when they saw the grace God had given unto them.
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?
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.
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.
been guilty of drawing others away from serving God before.
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.
The Righteousness of Faith
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
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:
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.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto
Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
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.
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
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not
liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
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