Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that You are the divine author of the living Bible. We pray that You will speak to us afresh from the Bible today, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Galatians 2: 11- 21, For by grace you have been saved
VV 11-13, 11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
When Peter visited Antioch, Paul rebuked him for hypocrisy when he refused to fellowship with the Gentile Christians when the Judaizers from Jerusalem came. Even Barnabas followed Peter in his hypocrisy and refused to fellowship with the Gentile Christians.
V 14, But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?
Paul rebuked Peter for compelling the Gentiles to live as the Jews by insisting on circumcision, observing the Mosaic laws, and going back to legalism.
VV 15-16, 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 faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
The self-righteousness Jews considered themselves as righteous and considered all Gentiles to be sinners. A man is not justified by law but by grace alone, by faith alone, and by Christ alone. It is all by grace, Ephesians 2:8-9.
Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast”.
VV 17-19, 17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.
Paul asked a rhetorical question. If Christ justified sinners, is He a minister of sin? Paul answered no. God can destroy what he had built and rebuild it again. God is both the just and justifier of the unjust. We can only live for God when we have died to the law. The law brings death. Grace gives life.
Romans 3:26, “he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus”.
VV 20- 21, 20 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. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
When you crucify our flesh with Christ, you died to the flesh. If you died to the flesh, the Holy Spirit regenerates your spiritual life and lives in you. Do not refuse grace by going back to the law. Jesus Christ lived a perfect life on earth to fulfill the law that no one could not ever keep. Put your trust in the finished work of Christ on Calvary. If the law can justify, Christ’s death on the cross would be in vain.
You are justified by grace alone, by faith alone, and by Christ alone. Nothing more is needed, and nothing less will suffice. Are you crucified with Christ? Have you died to the flesh and born again in the Spirit? Have you put your trust in the finished work of Christ?
Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding us that we are justified by grace through faith in Christ and not by the works of the law. We confess that we are sinners saved by grace. Thank You for all that You have done in our lives, Jesus’ name, Amen.