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Archive for November, 2010

Galatians 2:11-12

Posted by heyrandy on November 12, 2010

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

12For 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. Gal. 2:11-12 AV

Paul continues his biography and defense of his apostleship with “but.” In v. 9 Paul relates how he and Barnabas received the “right hand of fellowship” from James, Cephas, and John. Paul now states that things have changed. Peter has come to Antioch and started to withdraw from the gentile converts. Paul opposed Peter in this matter. No only did Paul oppose Peter, Paul did it to Peter’s face. This was a public rebuke.

This incident does tell us something about the administration of church discipline. The principle  of dealing with the issue at the level the issue is presented. If it had been a private matter, the matter would have been deal with in private. But eating is a public matter, so the apostle confronts the other apostle, the pillar of v9, in public about it.

Peter’s condemnation was obvious. Peter was reverting  to the matter that had been resolved by him in Acts 10 and 11. The matter was resolved by Peter’s own words. Now there is double-dealing. What is going on?

Paul stays true to the truth. The principal doctrine is that all people are equal in Christ. There are no class divisions, ethnic divisions, or national divisions in the church. All such divisions are wrong. At the great assize in Rev. 20 there is mentioned no distinction. There is one Savior, Jesus Christ, Lord of all. There is only one set of people, sinners.

Paul does not say anything about confronting the people who came from James, v 12. It is not stated that the ones from James participated in the separation. It may have been entirely of Peter’s own doing. The practice spread swiftly. Even Barnabas was affected, v13. It seems the practice was just as swiftly stopped. The gospel’s truth and purity was protected.

It is easy to regress. This is the lesson of the text. It is so easy that even the most solid, the pillars, leaders of the church are not immune from this error. We must bear this in mind when we hear the teaching of our church. We must always search the scriptures to see if these things are so.

Start searching!

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