Galatians 2

  In Galatians Paul uses the word 'law' thirty two times. In this column: If Paul were alive and speaking here in America, and delivering the same sermon, what would he say? 
bulletThis is not a paraphrase . 
bulletThis is not a translation. 
bulletThis is the author's understanding of what Paul had in mind.
bulletAnd if Paul were here in America giving a talk. 



1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with [me] also.

2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

(1) Then fourteen years ago I returned to Jerusalem. Barnabas, and Titus went with me.

(2) I was in obedience to that irresistible force that we feel from time to time. I told them about the message that I preach to the Gentiles. I spoke to those who were reputable so that I did not waste my time.

(3) Now Titus, because he was a Greek, he was not circumcised.

(4) I tried to limit my reports to reputable Christians but there always seem to be a spies or infiltrators in our midst who try to entrap us one way or another.

5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed [to be somewhat] in conference added nothing to me:
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter;

8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we [should go] unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

10 Only [they would] that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

(5) We did not fall for their tricks or give them the time of day. If we had we would have been sidetracked and not be with you today.

(6) There were some pompous individuals who tried to enlighten me to their way of thinking. I don't know who they thought they were, but they showed me nothing new.

(7) They realized that the gospel to Gentiles was committed to me just as charge of the gospel to the Judeans was entrusted to Peter.

(8) For He that motivated Peter to the apos-tleship of the circumcision (Judeans) likewise mightily motivated me to the Gentiles.

(9) James, Cephas, and John saw that God was with me. We, Barnabas and I, shook hands with them on this agreement, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the Judeans. (Those of the circumcision thought of the Gentiles as 'heathen'.)

(10) They asked us to remember the poor, the one thing we were making every effort to do.

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before [them] all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We [who are] Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

(11) Peter and I had a falling out in Antioch. And Peter was wrong in this matter.

(12) Peter ate with the Gentiles, a thing forbidden by Judean custom. Then when his Judean friends came he withdrew from meals with them for fear of what his Judean friends might think.

(13) Peter's other Judean friends including Barnabas followed his hypocritical example.

(14) It is not right for them to act that way. I said to Peter before all of them, "You are a Jew but you act like a Gentile. Now you want the Gentiles to act like Jews. By what logic do you force Gentiles to adopt Jewish ways?"

(15) If your answer is, "We are Jews, our salvation assured since birth, and not sinners of Gentile origin."(16) Then I would remind you that a man is not justified by rituals such as circumcision, or by who you eat meals with, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. We have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ. We are not justified by the rituals and cere-monies of the Levitical Priesthood, for by this part of the law does not bring justification.

17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, [is] therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

(17) Not none of us are perfect. We all sin from time to time. But if we sin while seeking to be justified by Christ, does that mean that Christ approves of sin? Absolutely not!
(18) I taught that these rituals do not justify. Now, if I religiously observe these very same rituals, don't I make myself out to be a fool?

(19) For, through the education I received from these past rituals, a schoolmaster, I am now dead to these laws, these rituals of the Levitical Priesthood. Now I live under a new priesthood, the Melchizadek priesthood, unto God.

(20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me. While I now live in the flesh, the life I live is by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

(21) This new way of living is a gift of God. I am not going to frustrate it by returning to the rituals and customs of the past, for if they could or did result in salvation, then Christ died for no reason.


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