"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Chapter Two OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To understand why Paul would refuse to circumcise Titus (but then had Timothy circumcised later, as recorded in Acts 16:1-3) 2) To appreciate why it was necessary for Paul to rebuke Peter to his face 3) To understand why if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ's death was in vain SUMMARY As Paul continues defending his apostleship, he describes a meeting in Jerusalem fourteen years after the one with Peter related in chapter one. It was prompted by a revelation, and Barnabas and Titus went with him to meet "those who were of reputation." The meeting was private, but some false brethren were secretly brought in who sought to demand that Titus, a Gentile, be circumcised. Paul refused, viewing it as an effort to bring them back into bondage from which Christ set them free (1-5). The result of the meeting was that "those who seemed to be something" added nothing to Paul. In fact, once they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcised had been given to him just as the gospel of the circumcised had been given to Peter, and once James, Cephas, and John perceived the grace that had been given to Paul, he was extended the right hand of fellowship. They only asked that Paul be mindful of the poor, something he was very eager to do (6-10). The rest of the chapter describes a confrontation in Antioch between Peter and Paul. Peter, who was visiting, at first was willing to eat with the Gentiles; but when some came from James, out of fear he withdrew himself. Through his influence the rest of the Jews, even Barnabas, were carried away into hypocrisy. This prompted Paul to withstand Peter "to his face," and to rebuke him in the presence of all. In the course of his rebuke, Paul stressed that we are justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; otherwise, Christ died in vain (11-24). OUTLINE I. THE MEETING AT JERUSALEM (1-10) A. IN PRIVATE, WITH THOSE OF REPUTATION (1-5) 1. Occurring fourteen years later, accompanied by Barnabas and Titus (1) 2. Spurred to go by revelation, he communicated the gospel he had preached (2) 3. Refused to allow Titus to be circumcised, as some brethren desired who were secretly brought in to the meeting (3-5) B. HIS SANCTION BY JAMES, CEPHAS, AND JOHN (6-10) 1. Those who seemed to be something (reputation really made no difference) did not add anything to Paul (6) 2. When those of reputation saw... a. That the gospel of the uncircumcised had been committed to Paul just as the gospel of the circumcised was to Peter (7-8) b. That James, Cephas, and John perceived the grace given to Paul ...they extended the right hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas (9) 3. They asked only that the poor be remembered, something Paul was very eager to do (10) II. THE CONFRONTATION AT ANTIOCH (11-21) A. PETER'S HYPOCRISY (11-13) 1. Paul had to withstand Peter to the face because he would not eat with Gentiles when those from James came to Antioch (11-12) 2. Peter's example of hypocrisy influenced other Jews, even Barnabas (13) B. PAUL'S REBUKE (14-21) 1. Peter's hypocrisy (14) a. He himself, though Jewish, lived as a Gentile b. Yet he was compelling Gentiles to live as Jews 2. A summary of Paul's rebuke (15-21) a. Jewish Christians realize that they are justified by faith in Christ, not by the works of the law by which no flesh can be justified (15-16) b. If I seek to be justified by Christ through a means which cannot justify, isn't that making Christ a minister of sin? (17) c. If I rebuild that which cannot justify and has been destroyed (i.e., the law), won't I become a transgressor again? (18) d. Through the law, I have died to the law, having been crucified with Christ; Christ now lives in me and the life I now live to God is a life of faith in the Son of God (19-20) e. If righteousness comes through the law, Christ died in vain, and the grace of God has been set aside (21)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) How long was it before Paul returned to Jerusalem? Who went with him? (1) 3) What prompted him to go? What did he do there? (2) 4) What did some who were secretly brought in to this meeting try to get Paul to do? Did Paul submit to their command? (3-5) 5) How do you reconcile Paul's refusal to circumcise Titus with the fact that Paul later had Timothy circumcised? (cf. Ac 16:1-3) 6) When did those who "seemed to be something" add to Paul? (6) 7) What two things prompted them to extend the right hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas? (7-9) 8) What was the only thing they asked of Paul? (10) 9) When Peter came to Antioch, why did Paul find it necessary to withstand him to his face? (11-12) 10) Who else was carried away by Peter's hypocrisy? (13) 11) Briefly describe Paul's main argument as found in verse 16. 12) How did Paul live his life, once he had died to the law? (19-20) 13) If righteousness can come through the law, what does that say about the death of Christ? (21)