Galatians 2: Confirmation of the Message

When Paul met with church leaders in Jerusalem, how many years had passed since he met Jesus on the way to Damascus?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 1:18 Finally, after three years, I went to see Peter in Jerusalem and stayed with him for fifteen days.
Galatians 2:1 Fourteen years after my days with Peter, I again went to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas and Titus.
King James
Galatians 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
Galatians 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

What was Paul’s main reason for going to Jerusalem after so many years of ministry elsewhere?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:2 I went at the urging of the Holy Spirit and privately shared among God’s reputable servants the message of Jesus that I preach to unbelievers everywhere, looking for confirmation that my preaching was not in vain.
King James
Galatians 2:2 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.

Why was the decision about Titus important?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:3–5 They said Titus, being Greek, did not have to be circumcised. That only became an issue because of so-called believers who came like spies into our meeting, wanting to take away our freedom in Christ Jesus and put us under the bondage of Jewish tradition. We refused to give them any satisfaction, not even for a little while, for we were determined to preserve the truth of God’s word for you.
King James
Galatians 2:3–5 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 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: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Why might Paul have had greater revelation than the leaders in Jerusalem?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:6 You know, God is no respecter of persons, never ranking one person above another. But those who were most highly esteemed among church leaders accepted my revelation, discussing it among themselves and saying nothing that I didn’t already know.
King James
Galatians 2:6 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:

What do you think distinguished Peter as being especially effective in his ministry to Jews?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 5:14–15 Yet multitudes of both men and women believed in the Lord Jesus, so much so that the sick were brought into the streets on beds and mats in hope that Peter’s shadow might fall on them.
Acts 8:14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria was receptive to God’s message, Peter and John were sent
Acts 9:32 During that time, Peter traveled through the region and visited the believers in Lydda.
Acts 10:34 “Without a doubt,” Peter said, “I am convinced that God has no favorites among people,
Acts 10:44 While Peter was speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon everyone who was listening to him.
Galatians 2:7–8 Contrary to what I might have expected, they saw that the good news of Jesus was as much given to me as his special messenger as it was to Peter among the Jews. For Peter had been very effective in his ministry to the Jews. My message was having the same impact among foreigners.
King James
Acts 5:14–15 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
Acts 8:14 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
Acts 9:32 And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
Galatians 2:7–8 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:)

What do you think distinguished Paul as being especially effective in his ministry to non-Jews?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Acts 13:14–15 Paul and Barnabas went to Antioch in Pisidia, where they sat in the synagogue on the Sabbath. After reading from the Law and the prophets, the leaders of the synagogue turned to Paul and Barnabas. “Brothers, if you have an exhortation, please speak to us.”
Acts 14:1 At the Jewish synagogue in Iconium, a huge number of Jews and foreigners believed the message of Paul and Barnabas concerning Jesus Christ.
Acts 17:1 After traveling through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they stopped at a synagogue in Thessalonica.
Acts 17:10 That night, Paul and Silas were sent by the believers to Berea, and they went to the synagogue there.
Acts 17:17 Therefore, he reasoned with Jews in the synagogue, devout pagans in the marketplace, and anyone else who might show up.
Acts 18:4 Every Sabbath, Paul went to the synagogue, where he earned the confidence of both Jews and foreigners.
Acts 18:19 At Ephesus, he left Priscilla and Aquila to their tent making and entered the synagogue to reason with the Jews,
Acts 19:8 For three months, Paul spoke forcefully in the synagogue, reasoning with the Jews and convincing many of truths about Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
Galatians 2:7–8 Contrary to what I might have expected, they saw that the good news of Jesus was as much given to me as his special messenger as it was to Peter among the Jews. For Peter had been very effective in his ministry to the Jews. My message was having the same impact among foreigners.
King James
Acts 13:14–15 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
Acts 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Acts 17:17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
Acts 18:19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Galatians 2:7–8 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:)

What must we have in common to be recognized as part of the family?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:9 When Peter, James, and John, regarded as pillars of the faith, recognized the abundance of God’s favor, they welcomed Barnabas and me as part of their family. They encouraged us to keep preaching to the foreigners while they continued their work among the Jews.
King James
Galatians 2:9 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.

If Paul was always interested in helping the poor, why would leaders in Jerusalem think it was important to mention that area?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:10 They cautioned that we remember to help the poor, which I always want to do.
King James
Galatians 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Why do say we knew we were about to do something wrong, but we still did it?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:11 Later, when Peter came to Antioch, I had to confront him for something he should have known was wrong.
King James
Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

What allowed Peter, being a Jew, to be comfortable eating with foreigners?

Author’s Thoughts
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Acts 10:28 “You know,” Peter said, “that Jews aren’t allowed to keep company with foreigners, but God has shown me that I should not reject what he has cleansed.
Galatians 2:12 He was eating with foreigners until Jews sent by James from Jerusalem arrived. From the moment they walked in, he separated himself in fear of what they might think.
King James
Acts 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
Galatians 2:12 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.

Why was Peter concerned about what other Christian Jews might think?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 9:22 When people are weak, I empathize with their fragile faith in order to bring them to Christ. I do my best to find common ground with everyone, seeking to help them get from where they are to where God wants them to be.
Galatians 2:12 He was eating with foreigners until Jews sent by James from Jerusalem arrived. From the moment they walked in, he separated himself in fear of what they might think.
2 Timothy 1:7 A spirit of fear is not from God, for in him we have power, love, and a sound mind.
King James
1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Galatians 2:12 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.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

What are some of the problems that result from hypocrisy?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:13 Other Jewish Christians followed his example, so much so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
King James
Galatians 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

Do you think Paul showed wisdom in publicly denouncing Peter’s behavior? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:14 When I saw that they were not behaving according to the message of Christ, I said to Peter in the presence of everyone, “If you can sometimes live like you were not a Jew, how can you now compel foreigners to follow Jewish traditions?”
King James
Galatians 2:14 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?

Compared to non-Jews, why might Paul have expected better behavior from Christian Jews?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:15–16 As Jews by birth, we should not act under false pretenses like sinful foreigners, because righteous comes from faith in Jesus Christ, not by the works of the Law. Whether Jewish or not, no person is justified by following religious traditions. We are all made righteous because of our faith in Jesus.
King James
Galatians 2:15–16 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 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.

When people sin, what happens to their relationship with the Lord?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:17 As we seek to please the Lord, does he take part in our sin, encouraging us to do wrong? Of course not.
King James
Galatians 2:17 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.

How was Peter’s behavior working against the message of Jesus Christ?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:18 Rebuilding what has been torn down makes us transgressors against the one who tore it down.
King James
Galatians 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

How can laws and traditions be an obstacle in doing whatever God wants?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:18–19 Rebuilding what has been torn down makes us transgressors against the one who tore it down. I am dead to laws and traditions so I can live totally focused on doing whatever God wants.
King James
Galatians 2:18–19 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

In what ways should our recognition of God’s sacrifice affect the sacrifices we choose to make for him?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:20 By the Law, I am condemned and nailed to the cross with Christ, but now he is alive in me to do his will. My flesh is committed to believing and following the Son of God, who loves me and sacrificed his life for me.
King James
Galatians 2:20 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.

How can following the Law nullify Jesus’ sacrifice?

Author’s Thoughts
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Galatians 2:21 Jesus died because the Law could not make us right with God, and it’s unthinkable that I would nullify the sacrifice that made our relationship with him possible.
King James
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.