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Galatians, Chapter Two, Lesson Two

AGGRESSIVELY CONFRONTING           Page 4

V.14 (Cont'd.)

** Why was Paul "Aggressively Confronting" just Peter?

They all were wrong, but Peter was the leader. As the apostle, Peter had the responsibility to be above reproach in his godly example and lifestyle. When Peter (as a leader and pillar of the church) set the wrong pattern, others were quick to follow.

This event may well be the reason for the apostle Paul's instruction to Timothy
in 1Timothy 5:19-20.

** What was the erroneous pattern set by Peter and then adopted by the others?

"...they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel..." Peter's actions of hypocrisy were undermining the heart of the gospel truth, that is; salvation by grace through faith and not as a result of works.

** How would you explain in your own words Paul's argument to Peter?

Paul gently, but firmly reasoned with Peter, saying since you no longer observe Jewish ceremonialism but are sharing in the love feast with Christians, why are you compelling the Gentiles to live like Jews (which of course includes being circumcised)?

** How do you think that Peter responded to this public rebuke by the apostle Paul?

While the passage does not address Peter's initial response, we do know that he would continue to grow in his admiration for Paul and that fact reflects an obedient, submissive response here.

Remember it was after this meeting in Antioch, at the end of his life, that Peter was praising Paul as a "beloved brother" (2Peter 3:14-16). Just as a footnote, Peter wrote that last letter in 66 A.D., just one year before his own death and Paul died in Rome around 67-68 A.D. as a martyr for Christ.

V.15 ** What are the two categories of humanity according to verse 15?

Jews and Gentiles.

** Is Paul saying that Jewish people, as the physical descendents of Abraham, are not sinners?

No, he made it very clear that the Jewish nation had dishonored God by the combination of their religious ceremony and their sinful hearts. (cf. Romans 2:17-24)

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