Monday, September 14, 2015
“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? 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” (Galatians 2:14-16 KJV).
What is “the truth of the gospel?”
The Gospel of the Grace of God is how God’s grace is manifested to us through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “Being justified [declared righteous by God] freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:24,25).
“The truth of the gospel” (today’s Scripture) is that we are saved today by simple faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary alone. Works are not the issue (water baptism, dietary laws, confession, commandment-keeping, and so on). Had our works been enough to give us a right standing before God, Jesus could have stayed in heaven!
Peter’s error in today’s Scripture was that he encouraged Law-keeping among Paul’s Gentile converts. Paul’s converts were under no such legalistic commands. Neither are we. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14b). Paul rightly rebuked Peter. In our Dispensation of Grace, God has abolished Israel’s system of works, and ushered in the system of grace. Paul would sadly rebuke many Christians today, those who incessantly mix law and grace. His words to Peter would echo throughout Christendom, “Ye walk not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel!”
Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Galatians 2:11-16?”