Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not by works of the law, But by faith in Jesus Christ

Galatians 2:11, 12
  • But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
  • For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.

Paul opposed Peter to his face when he was in Antioch. The reason was that he stood condemned, meaning that he was not walking in line with the truth of the gospel. 

Peter was found guilty, contradicting the truth of the gospel with his behaviour.

Peter separated himself from the Gentiles, rather than joining them with the Jews who came from Jerusalem.

Refusing to eat the food prepared by the Gentiles because he feared the view of the Jews from Jerusalem who still strictly followed the dietary restrictions of the law of Moses.

Peter already had a dream, as found in Acts 10:9-16

  • About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 
  • He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 
  • He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 
  • It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 
  • Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
  • “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
  • The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
  • This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

And this is what happened to the Gentiles who heard the gospel from Peter.

Acts 10:44-48
  • While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 
  • And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 
  • For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 
  • “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 
  • And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

We need to remember this all the days of our lives. We are not righteous in the sight of God because of our seemingly righteous works.

Galatians 2:16
  • yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are righteous in the sight of God.

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