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Galatians 2 Commentary

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Galatians 2:1-5 meaning

Paul went to Jerusalem to discuss the Gospel with the apostles there. They all agreed that Gentiles did not have to be circumcised to be saved, in opposition to some who argued that believers must follow the law. The law imprisons us, but Jesus frees us.

Galatians 2:6-10 meaning

The apostles and elders in Jerusalem affirmed Paul's teaching of the gospel of grace. God was working through all of them; those in Jerusalem preached to the Jews, while Paul and his team preached to the Gentiles. There was agreement that Jews would continue to follow Jewish religious practice, but the Gentiles would be free of such practice.

Galatians 2:11-14 meaning

The harmony of the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 did not last long. Soon thereafter, the Apostle Peter (Cephas) shows favoritism to Jewish believers who teach that Gentiles must obey the law, which is a serious misrepresentation of the Gospel. Paul rebukes Peter in front of everyone for his hypocrisy.

Galatians 2:15-17 meaning

Paul continues his public rebuke, and reminds Peter of the truth of the Gospel. Obeying the law does not justify anyone before God. Only faith in Jesus justifies us before God. If anyone calls us sinners because we no longer obey the law, that does not mean we are sinning.

Galatians 2:18-21 meaning

We are dead to the law because we have spiritually died with Christ, and have been given a new life to live, where Christ lives through us. But if we rebuild the law, we create failure for ourselves, because we are seeking to add to the free gift of God's grace. This new life is a life of continued faith in Jesus, not in obeying the law.