Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Living Above The World - Galatians

Galatians 2:11-14

The Standoff

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Some things we are to withstand, or stand against. We know that we are to stand against the wiles of the Devil and not to be overtaken with the enemies of God. We are to be faithful in God's work.

Peter was in the wrong in these verses, because he was a hypocrite. He pretended to be one and the same with Gentiles until the Jews came around; then he decided to change and pretend that he was with the Jews, one and the same with them. I wonder what the Gentiles thought as Peter separated himself from them? What would you think if someone pretended to be your friend and then turned his back on you? Is this ministry to Peter (to the Jews) a ministry that is exclusive in the sense that God is saving only Jews and that Peter must cater to the Jews? No. It is, we have already learned, for both the Jew and the Gentile.

Peter may very well eat with the Jews, but he has just given his right hand of fellowship condoning the work of Paul among the Gentiles and agreeing that God saves Jew and Gentile alike. To break from a lifelong tradition is very difficult, and to Peter a Gentile was a dog; and he and other Jews were not permitted to eat with them lest they become defiled. Peter should know better, because he is the one who had the vision from Heaven that revealed to him that God had cleansed the Gentile to receive the Gospel, cleansed the Gentile so that he is no longer a defilement to the Jews but that they are sinners in the same lot (See Acts 10:28).

Peter acted out of fear. We as God's children do that often, but we are not to fear the flesh, because the flesh cannot do anything against the truth (2 Cor. 13:8).

Paul had good reason to withstand Peter, because Peter was to be blamed, blamed for being inconsistent concerning the truth of God's working among Jews and Gentiles. Not only so, but he was causing others to be led astray, especially Barnabas, who was carried away with their "dissimulation," which means hypocrisy. We must take care lest we lead others astray.

Peter should not have been teaching the Gentiles to live as the Jews. He definitely was to be blamed. We are free from the law, oh happy condition. All have sinned against God (Rom. 3:23), and all need to repent (Luke 13:3) and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).

Let us not be guilty of hypocrisy. We must preach the Gospel to every creature alike. Every man must give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12).

Yes, we need to stand against some things, but let us be faithful lest Paul or someone else may need to withstand us concerning our hypocrisy or our unfaithfulness.


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