July 25, 2022 – Monday
Galatians 2:9 NIV
9 James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised
Paul, Barnabas, and Titus are in Jerusalem meeting with the leaders therein. Paul writes in verse two, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. He had Titus with him was not circumcised even though a Greek which was an affront to the Judaizers who sought to impose the requirement of circumcision on all believers. Judaizers has infiltrated the church where Paul had been preaching freedom from this requirement and Paul was here now to receive assurances he had not been preaching this in vain.
He and Barnabas met with James, Cephas (Peter’s surname), and John, those esteemed as pillars in Jerusalem. James is believed not to be an apostle, but the brother of Jesus leading the church in Jerusalem. All three were pillars or principal supporters and defenders of the gospel in Jerusalem.
Thus, it was to them Paul presented his concern that no falseness, especially legalism, should creep into the doctrine and spoil the truth via some Jewish rite that could never bestow salvation. They, James, Cephas, and John, recognized the grace given to Paul and extended the right hand of fellowship to him and Barnabas. Somehow, God confirmed to them that Paul was His apostle. As a result, they commissioned him, along with Barnabas, to take the gospel to the Gentiles. And in verse ten, All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.
And things went along seemingly fine, until Paul and Cephas met in Antioch. Paul confronted Cephas about his hypocrisy for refusing to eat with Gentiles when Jews from Jerusalem arrived. He publicly confronted Cephas saying in verse 14b, You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? Then in verse 16 how they knew as Jews a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. And because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
Paul closed by stating in verse 21, I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Which he prefaced with, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. There were no works worthy of salvation. None. There was only faith in Jesus who died for our sins.
Bottom Line: Let nothing come between you and salvation, the grace of God, through His Son on the cross.
Prayer: Almighty God, Deepest thanks that salvation through Your Son Jesus came to all of us, Jew and Gentile alike. You have blessed us beyond measure. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton