Reviewing the situation
Lord, I open up every part of my life to Your love. Draw me to healing waters and send me out for You.
Read GALATIANS 2:11–21
 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.  For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.  The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.  When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “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?  “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles  know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.  “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not!  If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.  “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat was the conflict between Paul and Peter?
Sometimes it seems that Paul could fall out with anyone! Here he tells his readers how he exposed his fellow apostle Cephas (Peter) as a hypocrite. Peter had been sharing meals with non-Jewish Christians in Antioch, defying the Jewish ban on certain foods (such as “unclean” pork or shellfish) and mixing with the “wrong” (uncircumcised) people. However, as Paul points out, when some strict Jewish Christians arrived from Jerusalem, Peter quickly changed his stance and segregated himself from non-Jews, taking others with him. Peter’s fearful drawing back from the Gentiles is the behavior that Paul criticized. Jesus was criticized by religious people for the meals he shared and the company he kept (Mark 2:15,16). He mixed with the outcast, diseased and untouchable members of his society, offering them acceptance and healing, rather than fearing their contamination. Peter had observed Jesus firsthand—and shared those meals—but was still uncertain in his own mind and prone to compromise under pressure. He cared too much about his reputation and the reports that would go back to Jerusalem.
Evaluate this question: Do you find that your behavior changes according to the company you keep?
God, create in me a pure heart and a conviction to live with integrity.
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