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.
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?
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.
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.
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.”
(Gal 2:11-3:1 NKJ)
- According to passages in Acts and Leviticus, explain the issue of Jews eating with Gentiles.
- Why do you think Paul confronted Peter publically? Was that the right approach? Why didn’t he follow the pattern given in (Matthew 18:15-17)?
- According to (Galatians 2:14-16), what made the issue worth the difficulty of public confrontation?
- According to verse 14, Peter was no longer “in line” with the gospel. What are ways that we should be constantly involved in a gospel re-alignment process?
- What root problem caused Peter’s lifestyle to become inconsistent with the Gospel (hypocritical)? How can this happen to us (vs. 12)?
- What larger problem was Peter’s hypocrisy causing? What does this remind us about the “ripple effect” of our own lifestyle?
- While Peter erred by choosing the path of least resistance, Paul chose to confront publicly. What does this tell us about the danger of being “non-confrontational”?
- Paul demonstrated, in verse 15, that his actions found its basis in the gospel. Why must we rehearse the truth of the gospel so frequently?