The second half of the chapter expertly reinforces the theme of salvation as an act of grace on God's behalf. In the same way, we are crucified with Christ when we receive the gift of salvation through faith. Observe the apostle's faithfulness in giving a full account of the doctrine he had preached among the Gentiles, and was still resolved to preach, that of Christianity, free from all mixture of Judaism. This would be very dishonourable to Christ, and also very hurtful to them. Christ lives and reigns in him, and he lives here on earth by faith in the Son of God, which works by love, causes obedience, and changes into his holy image. Here, in his own person, the apostle describes the spiritual or hidden life of a believer. Rather, Paul wanted the Galatians to understand that what the Judaizers were attempting to accomplish was dangerous and wrong. He is a former editor for Christianity Today and LifeWay Christian Resources. What does it mean that there is neither Jew nor Greek in Galatians 3:28? For to believe in Christ crucified, is not only to believe that he was crucified, but also to believe that I am crucified with him. He had confirmed with the most important leaders of the early church that Gentiles were not required to adopt Jewish customs in order to obey God -- in fact, they should not do so. Sam O'Neal is the co-author of "Bible Stories You May Have Forgotten" and "The Bible Answer Book." When they came he withdrew and separated himself. Perceiving the grace given to him, they gave unto him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, whereby they acknowledged that he was designed to the honour and office of an apostle as well as themselves. He loved me, and gave himself for me. Paul had been working with Barnabas, another Jewish leader of the early church. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. He wanted them to be on their guard because even Peter had to be corrected and warned away from the wrong path. More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free! After 14 years of proclaiming the gospel in various regions, Paul returned to Jerusalem to meet with the leaders of the early church -- chief among them Peter (Cephas), James, and John. By using Learn Religions, you accept our, Meet the Apostle John: 'The Disciple Jesus Loved', Intro to Galatians: How to Be Free From the Burden of the Law, Overview: the Epistles of the New Testament, Earliest Days of the Roman Christian Church, M.A., Christian Studies, Union University, B.A., English Literature, Wheaton College. His care was, lest the success of his past labours should be lessened, or his future usefulness be hindered. To give the greater weight to this, it is added, But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ the minister of sin? Footnotes. The message of the gospel is that God offers forgiveness as a gift, and we receive that gift through faith -- not by doing good works. When other Jews came into the area, however, Peter made the mistake of withdrawing from the Gentiles; he didn't want to be confronted by the Jews. Galatians 2:7 That is, Gentiles; Galatians 2:7 That is, Jews; also in verses 8 and 9; Galatians 2:9 That is, Peter; also in verses 11 and 14; Galatians 2:16 Or but through the faithfulness of … justified on the basis of the faithfulness of; Galatians 2:21 Some interpreters end the quotation after verse 14. If so, is it not foolish to go back to the law, and to expect to be justified by the merit of moral works, or sacrifices, or ceremonies? The apostle declares his being owned as an apostle of the Gentiles. What we used to be is killed, but something new and better rises with Him and allows us to live as His disciples because of His grace. Commentary on Galatians 2:20,21 (Read Galatians 2:20,21) Here, in his own person, the apostle describes the spiritual or hidden life of a believer. (1-10) He had publicly opposed Peter for judaizing. Before some men arrived from James it was his habit to eat with the Gentiles. They agreed that these two should go to the heathen, while they continued to preach to the Jews; judging it agreeable to the mind of Christ, so to divide their work. What does it mean to crucify the flesh (Galatians 5:24)? How can I turn all my worries and problems over to God. Everything changed with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament system of salvation died along with Jesus, and something new and better took its place when He rose again -- a new covenant. The old man is crucified, Romans 6:6, but the new man is living; sin is mortified, and grace is quickened. Grace is no grace unless it is freely given every way. Galatians 2:20 is a key passage: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. We must not give place to any conduct, whereby the truth of the gospel would be reflected upon. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” The context of Galatians 2 is how the believer is made right with God. Though Paul conversed with the other apostles, yet he did not receive any addition to his knowledge, or authority, from them. Verses 11-14 reveal an interesting confrontation that occurred later between Paul and Peter: Even the apostles make mistakes. What does it mean to be crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)? He has the comforts and the triumphs of grace; yet that grace is not from himself, but from another. What does it mean that believers are to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16)? Paul didn't mince many words in the first portion of his letter to the Galatians, and he continued speaking frankly in chapter 2. The occasion of this declaration doubtless arose from the ceremonial law; but the argument is quite as strong against all dependence upon the works of the moral law, as respects justification. (15-21). There are things which may lawfully be complied with, yet, when they cannot be done without betraying the truth, they ought to be refused. The message of the Judaizers was wrong. But Paul had also brought a man named Titus to meet with the leaders of the church. Paul proclaimed this to the Galatians as confirmation that, even though they were Gentiles, they did not need to adopt Jewish customs in order to follow Christ. Indeed, Galatians 2:15-21 are one of the more poignant declarations of the gospel in all of Scripture. THE ESSENTIAL UNITY (Galatians 2:11-13) 2:11-13 But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he stood condemned. Thus he neither abuses the grace of God, nor makes it in vain. And their profession is accordingly; they have the form of godliness without the power of it. They think they believe the articles of faith aright, but they are deceived. God's grace cannot stand with man's merit. Was it not that we might be justified by the faith of Christ? Here we learn that the gospel is not ours, but God's; and that men are but the keepers of it; for this we are to praise God. because he was scared of the circumcision party. True Identity: Finding Significance & Freedom Through Who You Are in Christ by John Majors. In chapter 1, Paul spent several paragraphs defending his credibility as an apostle of Jesus. As if the apostle said, The Lord saw me fleeing from him more and more. Believers see themselves living in a state of dependence on Christ. There is a very great difference between the prudence of St. Paul, who bore with, and used for a time, the ceremonies of the law as not sinful, and the timid conduct of St. Peter, who, by withdrawing from the Gentiles, led others to think that these ceremonies were necessary. The point of this story was not to bad-mouth Peter to the Galatians. Paul called him out on this hypocrisy. (11-14) And from thence he enters upon the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ, without the works of the law. While we simply depend upon God for success to our labours, we should use every proper caution to remove mistakes, and against opposers. Herein is a pattern of Christian charity, which we should extend to all the disciples of Christ. It was necessary, that he might live to God, and be devoted to him through the motives and grace of the gospel. For what did we believe in Christ? Finally, Paul ended the chapter with an eloquent declaration that salvation comes through faith in Jesus, not adherence to the Old Testament law. Paul gave an account of the message he had been preaching to the Gentiles, proclaiming they could receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The more simply the believer relies on Christ for every thing, the more devotedly does he walk before Him in all his ordinances and commandments. By considering the law itself, he saw that justification was not to be expected by the works of it, and that there was now no further need of the sacrifices and cleansings of it, since they were done away in Christ, by his offering up himself a sacrifice for us.