(21 verses, 3:15 to read)
What I am about to READ
The truth of the Gospel and justification through faith in Jesus Christ
1-10: Paul’s visit to Jerusalem
11-15: Paul and Peter face to face
16-21: Justified by faith in Christ and not by works to the law
1-10: Paul details his visit to Jerusalem. He wrote these details to the Galatians to substantiate his claim to be a true apostle sent by Jesus himself. Paul preached the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, which included freedom in the Gospel and freedom fromceremonial laws – such as circumcision. Paul writes that the “pillars” in Jerusalem (Jesus’ brother James, Simon Peter, and John) heard the Gospel he preached and gave him the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to him.
11-14: Read Acts 15:7-11, which records Peter’s speech about including Gentiles in the one true faith. With these words in mind, Peter’s hypocrisy is clear as day. While visiting the congregation in Antioch, at first Peter ate and associated the Gentile Christians. But when some Jewish Christians came from Jerusalem Peter separated from them. Peter’s actions indicated that he supported the circumcision party, which believed Gentiles must be circumcised and obey ceremonial laws before becoming “real” Christians (see Colossians 2:16-17).
Therefore, Paul opposed Peter to his face! Peter’s hypocrisy was serious. The Gospel was at stake and Peter “stood condemned” (v.11). Once again Paul stands up and defends the truth: salvation is through faith in Jesus ALONE.
15-21: Paul’s thesis statement: We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ! If it were true that we can be justified through the law, then Christ died for no purpose!
“[A] person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
This is not only the thesis statement for Paul’s letter to the Galatians; it’s God’s thesis statement for the entire Bible! The Church stands or falls upon this thesis statement.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/
Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.