The power of the gospel was exploding in Asia but what were the essentials and what was part of tradition that was not crucial to becoming a believer? What was mandatory and what was optional? Read Galatians Chapter 2. I think the theme of Galatians was stated in verse 16, “A man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
What was one thing all churches were asked to do? (verse 10) Do churches prioritize this today?
In reading Acts 15 and Galatians 2, we observed a both a large-scale controversy in the church and a personal confrontation with Paul and Cephas (Peter). What applications did you learn about conflict resolution and compromise?
Galatians 2:20 is a well-loved and memorized verse. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me.” Restate/paraphrase this as your own personal affirmation.
For example (obviously my statement is not as poetic/powerful as Paul’s)… Jesus is ruling from the “control tower” of my life. I no longer make by own choices but let Him decide what is best. I have laid down my desires and asked him to direct me in his ways and purposes. He proved his love by pouring out his life for me so I choose to trust him for every detail of my today, tomorrows, and eternity.
18 thoughts on “Galatians 2”
The one action urged by the apostles was to keep helping the poor.
I believe most present-day churches have made this a priority in their service to the Lord. For example, they serve in soup kitchens, they regularly offer meals to the homeless, some house the homeless. Missions outreach also target poverty-stricken regions whereby donations of tarps for shelter, medical/dental supplies and services, and specific projects like well-digging or school accessories are much needed.
We in America do often take for granted the things that are a reach away for us…everyday items that for some poor people, may be luxuries. Clean water, toothbrushes/toothpaste, the list is endless. It would be a lesson to live like one of these poor and see what actually are needs and what are wants.
In hindsight, I didn’t seem to connect the passage with the principle of your question, Lynn. Please help me with this.
Yes, you did.Those were the things I was thinking about – How you referred to Matthew 18 and that Paul did this with Peter going first to him privately with an offense and then to the larger group when he did not seem to respond.
In conflict resolution, Paul approached Peter one-on-one. It was a direct confrontation, Peter had fellowshipped with Gentile Christians, but when his friends came who were Jewish Christians (adhering to the law like circumcision), he detached himself from the Gentiles to not offend the latter. The gospel was compromised in the way that Peter did not want to offend one group, yet by his very association with them (the Judaizers), he was testifying that Christ alone was not sufficient for salvation.
Application to conflict resolution: using Matt 18:15, go to the offender directly and try to resolve the problem at its base. This way the issue remains confined between the offended and the offende and can be addressed without outside interference clouding the matter.
I have a more difficult time with compromise. Because being in today’s society, the odds are that we are in the minority as Christians. Even among “friendly” audiences (those you get along well with, but who aren’t believers) there can still be the disdain for what we stand for, and it manifests itself in ways like avoidance or, on the opposite end, straight-out putdowns. So I am guilty of not standing up to my beliefs boldly in the workplace, but will one-on-one.
I realized how compromise often has a negative connotation in the church, but what I saw in Acts and Galatians and Paul’s life is that he never compromised the gospel or truth but he was willing to set aside things he may have been entitled to do for the common good. He may have seen things one way but did not force others to see it his way entrusting God to show them differently. He was not controlling the churches he planted but shepherding. But if he felt the action wast destructive to the whole body (As in Galatians 2) he would not back down. Also, (and this is how I imagined it not supported in Acts 15) at the Jerusalem council I wondered if perhaps originally the Jewish believers had many more than 4 things they wanted included in how the Gentiles should behave as believers, I suspect there was give and take as they composed the letter that would go out to all the churches.
My doubts about my post not being relevant to the question was for the first question re “helping the poor”
Yes, your line of thinking was exactly what I was asking about to what extent churches help the poor
After reading Galatians 2, I saw myself as Peter, and wondered if Paul would oppose me for withdrawing, holding myself aloof and fearing the party of circumcision (the law). In Peter’s hypocrisy, not being straightforward about the gospel (maybe wishy-washy under pressure) Barnabas was carried away. It is a reminder to fear God and not man.
How would I feel if I saw a sister-in-Christ or a close loved one being carried away due to my aloofness and/or fear of men who do not fear God nor value life. Am I firmly grounded that no matter what may come, I will stand firm in the gospel of Jesus Christ? I pray yes so the truth of the gospel would remain with fellow believing sisters-in-Christ (brethren).
Paul confronted Cephas (Peter) with the way he lived his life and the way he “judged” how Gentiles live. If you being a Jew live like the Gentiles, and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? (Galatians 2:14)
Instead of judging other fellow believers, we are to remember we are all sinners who are to stand firm in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Acts 15, there was a time of great dissension and debate regarding circumcision. Does one need to be circumcised according to the custom of Moses to be saved or are the brethren saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus? In this great dissension, Paul and Barnabas went up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.
In Galatians 2, Paul personally opposed Peter (Cephas) face to face. The reason for this was because Peter began to withdraw, holding himself aloof, as he feared the party of circumcision.
When there is a dissension amongst the brethren, bring it to the attention of the elders.
When there is dissention between one brethren and another, oppose the brother who is wavering in faith in Jesus Christ.
In Galatians 2:10, the brethren are asked to remember the poor. Poor in spirit, poor in need (Acts 24:17 — alms – charity)…
I hope this is not confusing.
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Just sharing that I’ll be undergoing astigmatism correction and cataract surgery in my right eye on Friday morning. I am trusting God to calm me and for confidence in the doctors in this delicate procedure.
We will be praying for you. Will you have your left eye done in a couple of weeks? Is George able to help with drops and appointments?
Left eye can be done several years down the line. G will drive us down tomorrow, then to follow up next morning. I am able to do drops myself . Thank you for your prayers.
Yes, we’ll be praying for you. Does this have to do with those spots you were seeing?
It was a result of the retina surgery I had nearly 2 years ago to remove a maculur pucker. They alerted me that cataracts would be forming after the procedure back in 2014. I’ve reached that time when it’s better to do it now than later.
praying for you
How did your surgery go yesterday? We’ll continue praying.
The surgery went smoothly in 20 minutes; it took an hour for prep and same for recovery. Doctor, staff, and technology are impressive with skill, precision and efficiency. All praise to God who is all we know Him to be. Thanking you also for your prayers, dear sisters. Patch is off, eyes look decent. With a holiday Monday, it is sufficient for getting back to normalcy, and I should be able to return to work on Tuesday.
Galations 2:20 paraphrase–My sin nature was lifted as Christ took my punishment on the cross in order to make reconciliation to a holy God. From the point of my accepting Him as my Saviour, it is He who directs my thoughts and actions. To put it another way, I conduct myself with the mind and heart of Christ, seeing people and situations with his perspective and acting accordingly.