But if it had not been for the heavenly vision and the special command of Christ, Peter would never have gone to the home of Cornelius. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel.No one except Paul had his eyes open. Instead of righteousness and life, I would restore sin and death.". On the other hand, when grace wanders unto the earth, i.e., into the body, tell grace: "You have no business to be around the dreg and dung of this bodily life. If grace abounds, where sin abounds, let us abound in sin, that grace may all the more abound." "They are turning Law into grace, and grace into Law. To reject the grace of God is a common sin, of which everybody is guilty who sees any righteousness in himself or in his deeds. "The fathers were not justified by circumcision. That Gospel is more excellent than all apostles. But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;[For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles. 2:1-10 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 peculiar form of speech sounds much sweeter than if Paul had said: "I through liberty am dead to the law." (Matthew 10:37.). None of these prerogatives spell faith in Christ, which alone can justify a person. . First, a person must realize that he is a sinner, the kind of a sinner who is congenitally unable to do any good thing. Galatians 2:17. This appears to be the meaning of the expression, we gave not place by subjection; for where compliance was desired of him, upon account of expediency, and not of subjection to the law, we do not find him stiff and inflexible; as may be seen, Acts 21:18-26 which was after the writing of this Epistle. Compare the phrase, Lamentations 5:6 , Ezekiel 17:18 . Peter and the others lived up to the requirements of the Law. Used by Permission. He is the form of my perfection. . If we are justified by the Law, tell me, what has Christ achieved by His death, by His preaching, by His victory over sin and death? By teaching that besides Christ and His righteousness the performance of the Law is necessary unto salvation, they put the Law in the place of Christ, they attribute to the Law the power to save, a power that belongs to Christ only.". Jerome, who understood not this passage, nor the whole epistle for that matter, excuses Peter's action on the ground "that it was done in ignorance." 15, 16. The "I" is intended by Paul for Peter to take to himself, as it is his case, not Paul's own, that is described. Paul could not let this assertion stand, for without faith all things are deadly. Talk as much as you like, I am dead to you. With Paul we absolutely deny the possibility of self merit. He did not go to Jerusalem to be instructed or confirmed in his Gospel by the other apostles. Love God and your neighbor. "What are these false apostles doing?" On one occasion he said to the Jews: "Through this man (Christ) is preached unto you forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." What could they possibly teach me since Christ by His revelation had taught me all things? communicated unto them--namely, "to the apostles and elders" ( Acts 15:2 ): to the apostles in particular ( Galatians 2:9 ). That is, has not the fundamental grace of the gospel,—the gracious promise of pardon, upon true repentance and amendment, and faith in Jesus Christ, been itself abused into an encouragement of wicked living, in a dependance upon the formalities of a death-bed repentance? 1801-1803. They gave me the right hand of fellowship. He is the Forgiver of sins. Think what grace, righteousness, life, peace, and salvation there is in me, thanks to that inseparable conjunction between Christ and me through faith! He will then understand the meaning of Paul's words: "I am sold under sin"; and "they are all under sin. It is surprising that Peter, excellent apostle that he was, should have been guilty of such vacillation. What are you going to do about it?". The narrative returns here, after the parenthetical reference to Titus, to the subject of Galatians 2:1-2, and the verb ἀνέβην, already repeated in Galatians 2:2, must here also be supplied to complete the sense: But it was because of the false brethren privily brought in that I … This charity is supposed to remain in the heart. The opinions of the papists are the intellectual pipe-dreams of idle pates, that serve no other purpose but to draw men away from the true worship of God. But the effect was not a careless, lawless life. Great dissension followed. The Law is abolished as far as I am concerned, when it has driven me into the arms of Christ. Our opponents will not agree with us on anything. Such sins he usually calls by their proper names, as adultery, fornication, etc. If thou, &c.--"If thou, although being a Jew (and therefore one who might seem to be more bound to the law than the Gentiles), livest (habitually, without scruple and from conviction, Acts 15:10 Acts 15:11 ) as a Gentile (freely eating of every food, and living in other respects also as if legal ordinances in no way justify, Galatians 2:12 ), and not as a Jew, how (so the oldest manuscripts read, for 'why') is it that thou art compelling (virtually, by thine example) the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" But of those who seemed to be somewhat, whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me.This is a good point in Paul's refutation. First, he appears to intimate that he did it by revelation. To have insisted on Jewish usages for Gentile converts, would have been to make them essential parts of Christianity. Paul reproved Peter for no trifle, but for the chief article of Christian doctrine, which Peter's hypocrisy had endangered. 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? God is longsuffering and full of mercy. And, say the scholastics, because God is not satisfied with a literal performance of the Law, but expects us to fulfill the Law according to the mind of the Lawgiver, therefore we must obtain from above a quality above nature, a quality which they call "formal righteousness.". . When the Jews refused to hear these glad tidings, Paul turned to the Gentiles. That we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the Law.We do not mean to say that the Law is bad. The authority of the apostles was indeed great in all the churches. If they had found that we circumcised Titus through fear of the apostles, they would have made that a ground for insisting on imposing the legal yoke on the Gentiles. The phrase, "the Son of God," reminds us that His Divine Sonship is the source of His life-giving power. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. He by this revelation was led to suggest the sending of the deputation. For he that wrought effectually in Peter.With these words Paul refutes another argument of the false apostles. After all, it is a comfort to know that even saints might and do sin. You have never become infected with the nefarious errors on which I suckled all my youth, until at the mention of the name of Christ I shivered with fear. © 2020 Christianity.com. Note; False brethren are our most dangerous foes. As if the apostle said, The Lord saw me fleeing from him more and more. By my faith in Christ I am crucified with Christ. "Commentary on Galatians 2:4". even we (resuming the 'we' of Galatians 2:15 , 'we also,' as well as the Gentile sinners; casting away trust in the law), have believed," &c. 16. not justified by the works of the law--as the GROUND of justification. God forbid; with abhorrence is the thought to be rejected. (Acts 19:11,12.). But presently he corrects himself, saying, "Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." But in reality I first live now, now that I have been delivered from the Law, from sin, and death. "For," &c. Proving his indignant denial of the consequence that "Christ is the minister of sin" ( Galatians 2:17 ), and of the premises from which it would follow. Zondervan. Who loved me, and gave himself for me.The sophistical papists assert that a person is able by natural strength to love God long before grace has entered his heart, and to perform works of real merit. But if it be no objection against the excellency of reason itself, that it very often is not able to make men act reasonably, and never of itself graciously, and no diminution to the divine commandments in general, that they frequently, not only fail of reforming men's manners, but even, on the contrary, do moreover make sin to become the more exceeding sinful; then, for the same reason, neither against the truth and excellency of Christianity in particular, can any argument be drawn from the wickedness of their lives who profess themselves Christians. Instead, He shed His blood abundantly in order that He might give abundant satisfaction for our sins.