Talks for Growing Christians
Paul Rebukes Peter for His Treatment of the Gentile Believers
Lesson Number 4
- Justification is not by the works of the law. (Galatians 2:15-18)
- Sanctification is not by the works of the law. (Galatians 2:19-21)
- Let a good marriage be an illustration of practical sanctification.
- Why does Paul give us the record of his rebuke of Peter?
- What was the basic error committed by the false teachers called Judaizers?
- There were two kinds of Judaizers. Who were they and what was the difference?
- How were the Gentiles looked upon by the Christian Judaizers?
- Which type of Judaizer is described in Galatians 2:4?
Which type of Judaizer is described in Galatians 2:12?
- Were all of the early apostles in the Jerusalem church completely free of the influencing effect of Judaism?
- It is part of Paul’s argument to show the false teachers of Judaism that Paul’s apostolic authority and the gospel he preached was acknowledged by the Jerusalem church to be from the Lord. Even Peter, who was rebuked, acknowledged Paul’s authority.
- They did not understand God’s grace and they insisted that salvation was not a free gift from God. They taught that you had to work for your salvation by keeping the requirements of the law of Moses.
- There were the non-Christian Judaizers and the Christian Judaizers. The non-Christian Judaizers were legalist Pharisees, who did not acknowledge Christ in any way, and said that salvation was obtained only by keeping the requirements of the Mosaic Law. The Christian Judaizers, on the other hand, acknowledged Christ as the Messiah and His work on the cross as payment for the penalty for sin. But they believed also that you had to work at keeping the requirements of the law.
- The Gentiles, who did not have the law of Moses, were at best, considered second-class citizens and at worst, were made to submit to the legalism of Judaism before they could become Christians.
- Galatians 2:4 describes the unbelieving Pharisaic Judaizers who had infiltrated the church.
In Galatians 2:21, the “certain men” were Christian Judaizers.
- No. The Lord’s half brother, James, even though he was a pillar in the Jerusalem church, was not at that time completely free from the influencing effect of Judaism. The same was true of Peter at this point, when he gradually withdrew and separated himself from the Gentile believers. That is why Paul rebuked him.
- “A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 2:16) Justification means to be declared righteous before God. The works of the law are essentially keeping the Ten Commandments. The Judaizers were emphasizing either the latter only or a combination of faith plus works. Paul argued that to put yourself back under the law and add the matter of keeping the law along with faith for salvation, you are once again an unforgiven sinner because no one can keep the law. You cannot add works to faith for justification. Good works follow justification, but are not a means to justification. Is your understanding clear that justification is not by works but by faith alone? How would you speak to someone who was justifying his salvation by his works (going to church, being baptized, doing good things for people)?
- “I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Sanctification means to become more godly and holy as a Christian. As to our legal position and standing before a holy God, believers are sanctified. Christ died as our substitute and representative. God sees us in Christ – having died with him and now made alive in Him. As believers, we have died to the law and are free to live for the Lord (Galatians 2:19). What about practical sanctification? This is not our standing, but our state; not our position, but our practice. Galatians 2:20 also covers practical sanctification. The goal and aim of the Christian is to walk with the Lord and to live by faith in the Son of God. The good news is that we have the ability to do this because Christ lives in us. When we walk with the Lord, we have the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. (See Romans 8:4) Are you sanctified in your position before a holy God? Are you sanctified in your practice before a holy God?
- The church is the bride of Christ. Think of your relationship with the Lord as a good and honorable marriage, where you fall more in love with your Savior day by day. Walk with Him and practical sanctification will take place in your life. How much do you love the Lord Jesus Christ? How closely do you walk with Him?
- “…a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 2:16a)
- “I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me.” (Galatians 2:20)