Understanding The Bible
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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
PAUL VINDICATES HIS APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY 1:11‑2:11
His gospel a revelation direct from Christ,1:11‑12
His apostleship and message not derived from men or men's religion, 1:13‑24
Not from Judaism, 13‑14
Not from apostles, or
Parenthesis: "I went not to men, but away from men to be alone with God, 17b|
Only after three years did he see Peter (15 days) and James, 18‑20 (cp. Acts 9:26‑30 and 22:17‑21)
He then left for
Syria and Cilicia, and was unknown by face to the churches of judea, 21‑24
Note the force of the argument: The churches of Judea were praising God that Paul was preaching the very gospel with which these who professed to come from Judea found fault as inferior and inadequate!
His apostleship acknowledged and his message approved at Jerusalem, but NOTHING ADDED, 2:1-10 (cp. Acts 15")
The situation leading to the visit, 1‑2 (cp. Acts 15:1‑4)
B. Titus, the test
case, 3‑5 (cp. Acts 15:5‑7a)
Contrast Timothy. "Paul's aim was not at consistency, but what was at any given time RIGHT. Verse 2 shows his willingness to conciliate, but verse 3 shows he did not intend to surrender in any really vital matter." (Scroggie)
The decision, 6‑10 (cp. Acts 15:7b‑29)
Nothing added to Paul's message (6)
The apostles recognized Paul's great and special mission (7‑9)
They request him to have Gentiles remember the poor saints at Jerusalem (10)
His apostleship authenticated in rebuking Peter, 2:11‑21
The wrong: Separating from Gentile believers‑‑a man‑fearing spirit, 11‑13
The challenge; You are not walking according to the gospel! (14)
The unanswered and unanswerable argument, 15‑21
The Jews, equally with Gentiles, had been justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, (15‑16)
If it was wrong to be justified by faith in Christ apart from the works of the law, then Christ was a minister of Sin, for He told them to do it (17)
In rebuilding the edifice of the law, they were making it clear that they ought never to have overthrown it; yet it was by Christ that they did so (18)
But through the
law, Paul was dead to the law, that he might live unto God (19‑20) (cp.
If Paul was wrong, Christ had died in vain (21)
NOTE on 2:14‑21:
PROOF that Peter, by ceasing to eat with the Gentiles, made Christ to be "a
minister of sin."
Peter, by ceasing to eat with the Gentiles, began to rebuild the edifice (which might be named "Keeping the Ritual of the Law").
But he had previously torn down this same edifice (of Keeping‑the‑Ritual‑of‑the‑Law) by the logic of the gospel of Christ, which says that a man can be saved only by faith, apart from ANY ritual‑keeping or good deeds of the law. Further, this demolishing of the building (of Keeping the Ritual of the Law) was done at the command of Christ.
Therefore, if Peter has transgressed by having torn down the building (of Keeping the Ritual of the Law), then Christ caused him to sin, and therefore was made Sin's obedient helper.
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