Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


Galatians was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Chapter Two
(Lesson Two - 2:1-21)


Let us be reminded that the two greatest books in the Bible against a faith and works salvation are the books of Romans and Galatians. "Justification by faith" is the topic of discussion. "Judaizers" or Jews trying to bring Christians back under the Law is the target of Paul's discourse. The legalistic Jew had crept into the churches of Galatia and perpetrated their own personal opinions on salvation and "Christian Law". They claimed that once you'd accepted Christ by faith you now must submit yourself to the Jewish Old Testament laws and ordinances to perfect your sanctification.

Paul illustrates the revealed truth by giving accounts of two of his major confrontations with the Judaizing concepts, the Council at Jerusalem of (Acts 15), and Paul's confrontation with Peter at Antioch.


I. Paul relates to the Galatians what happened at Jerusalem in Acts 15; about 45 A.D. - (2:1-10)

  1. "fourteen years after" (Acts 9:23-28)

  2. "went up to Jerusalem" (Acts 15)

  3. "by revelation" (vs. 2) (see chapter 1:12)

  4. Barnabas was very instrumental in Paul's early ministry.

Barnabas opened the way for fellowship with the church at Jerusalem (Acts 9: 26-28). Barnabas was sent by the church at Jerusalem to the church at Antioch to encourage them (Acts 11:19-24).

It was Barnabas who enlisted Paul's help to minister to the church in Antioch (Acts 11:25,26). Barnabas accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts 13 & 14) .

  1. Verse 2 shows us there was much confusion even among the apostles. If the gospel was the same as (Gen. 3) to present (as some would suggest), then why did Paul have to "communicate it to them", and why privately? In (Acts 15:11) Peter himself finally gets it straightened out in his own mind. Peter was a slow learner, (Acts 10:1-48). The whole chapter was an attempt to teach Peter the principles of Galatians two.

  2. Titus, a Gentile, was not compelled to be circumcised. Notice Timothy's circumcision following (Acts 15 in 16:3). Timothy was ~ Jew and ~ Gentile. The circumcision was done for testimony sake not because it was compulsory.

  3. (Verses 7-10) define the ministries of Peter and Paul and their areas of responsibility.


II. Paul gives account of his confrontation with Peter at Antioch - (2:11-14)

  1. This confrontation takes place after the Council at Jerusalem and sometime around (Acts 15:35).

  2. (Verse 11) "he was to be blamed." For what? (Verse 13), dissimulation or hypocrisy.

  3. Peter finds himself in what he considers a precarious position. He's setting down eating dinner and fellowshipping with his Jewish "buddies". Peter is afraid he'll be seen eating with the "heathen" and excuses himself to go to the restroom. When the time is convenient, Peter slips out the back door so as not to be seen. Some of the other Jews seem to be embarrassed likewise, they perform similar escapes and Barnabas watching all their escapades is infuriated by their hypocritical attitudes.

  4. Paul reprimands Peter publicly 14)


III. Paul states the doctrines and principles of justification by faith - (2:15-21)

Salvation is not Gentiles becoming like Jews, but Jews taking their place with Gentiles as sinners. Following are at least three verses that every Christian should know if not memorize! (Verses 16,20-21)

All "religion" no matter what brand or name tag it bears is faith plus some element of works. This goes for eastern religion, cults, protestant "Christianity" and Roman Catholicism. One of the unique things about true Bible Christianity is that it teaches there is nothing you can do to get saved or stay saved but accept God's free gift on His terms of faith. All religion adds to the finished work of Christ. This promotes self righteousness and tends to glorify man and the flesh rather than God. (See Rom. 3:20,28; 4:5; Eph. 2:8,9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 3:30; Titus 3:5; 1 Cor. 1:18 etc.)

Justification is being accounted righteous before God, the sinner puts on the righteousness of Christ and God sees him perfect in the righteousness of His Son. Justification is the judicial acts of God whereby those who put their faith in Christ are declared righteous in God's eyes, free from guilt or punishment.

(Romans 5:1) say: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ."

(Galatians 2:20): Christian Growth

[1]. Realize you are dead.
[2]. Realize you are alive.
[3]. Realize it's Jesus Christ in you and not you.

Allow me to illustrate further:

The evil that a Christian does is:

[1]. His own - (Gal. 2:18)

[2]. Yet it is not his own - (Rom. 7:17)

[3]. It comes from a dead man - (Rom 7:18)

The good that a Christian does is:

[1]. Not his own - (Gal 2:20)

[2]. Yet it is what the real him desires (Rom. 7:22)

[3]. The good fruit comes from something that is part of the new man - (Rom. 7:1-6)

See these verses: (Rom. 6:11; 11 Cor. 4:11; Gal. 5:24; Eph. 3:17; Col. 2:14,20)

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