Galatians 2:11-13 Are You Leading by Your Actions?

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Galatians 2:11-13

So last time we found Paul, Barnabas and Titus in Jerusalem.  It was determined that Paul would primarily go to the gentiles with the gospel, and Peter would go to the Jews.  Both would preach that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and not the law.

Questions:

Are your actions leading others in the right direction?

 

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

 

So Peter makes a trip to Antioch and apparently was fellowshipping with the Jewish converts.  As we see in the passage Paul was very upset with Peter.  Paul even confronted Peter to his face concerning the issue. So the big question is why?  What did Peter do that was so bad?  Well it seems that in the past Peter had no problem fellowshipping with the gentile believers.  He would sit down and eat a meal with them as brothers and sisters.  He didn’t hold to some dietary restrictions but had liberty to eat what he wanted to eat with the gentiles.

The problem occurred when James and other Jews came from Jerusalem to the church in Antioch.  When James showed up, Peter changed his ways.  He didn’t want to be scene eating with the gentiles.  In other words Peter was a hypocrite.  Peter knew that in Christ he had liberty to eat what he wanted to eat, but his beliefs didn’t line up with his actions.  Verse 12 said that Peter feared the Jews.  Why would Peter fear the Jews?  If Peter knows that what he was doing was not wrong, why would he care what the Jews thought?

I think we could ask ourselves the same question.  If we know what is right and true, then why do we fear others or ignore our beliefs before them.  Why do we care what man thinks?  Shouldn’t we be more concerned with what God thinks?

Peter was told directly by God what to think.  Let’s read

Acts 10:10-16

10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

 

Peter knew that it was okay to eat what the Jews believed was wrong to eat.    The church in Jerusalem knew that salvation was by grace and not the law.  The church in Jerusalem said you didn’t need to be circumcised.

Acts 15:23-28

23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.

28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

 

So why was Peter afraid?  He cared more about what men think vs what God thinks.  We fall into this trap all the time.  If we know what God said is true, we must live it without shame and fear.

Notice the result of not living out what you know to be true.  Verse 13 tells us that the other Jews played the hypocrite as Peter did.  The verse tells us that Barnabas did the same.  The lesson is clear.  Others see our actions and sometimes follow.  We are always teaching people what we believe.  People don’t care what you have to say.  They care about your actions and mine.  Peter’s actions led others in the wrong direction.

Are your actions leading others in the right direction?

 

 

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MaxGalatians 2:11-13 Are You Leading by Your Actions?