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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
Paul Confronts Peter
In Galatians chapter two Paul is relating his conversation with Peter when they met in Antioch. While Peter was with Cornelius he ate with the Gentiles and when James and the other Jews came down to see what was happening he withdrew himself and ate with the Jews. Paul said, we who are Jews knowing that a man is not justified (is not looked on as sinless) by the keeping of the Law for none can keep the Law. Romans 3:23 states “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. Paul continues on in verses 17 and 18 by telling them the dangers of going back under the Law after one has trusted Jesus as his Savior. As they seek to be saved by Christ the Jews find themselves sinners in their eyes by not keeping the Law. This is Paul’s message to Peter and others who are trying to put these Gentile believers under the yoke of the Law. To turn back to the Law denies the work of Jesus on the cross. In fact they were saying that their faith in Christ made them sinners again and that makes Jesus an agent which leads them to sin. How perverted that reasoning and God perish that thought! Peter, you preached the Word to the Gentiles yourself but now you have changed your mind and your message. You preached salvation by faith in the Son of God, but now you say salvation is also in the Law. You are building up the very thing you tore down which now makes you a sinner. Here Paul is showing the lameness and inconsistencies of his actions and beliefs. In verse 19 he continues his rebuke of Peter by saying, for I, under the operation of the curse of the Law, am dead to the Law. It has no effect on me in order that I might live unto God by Christ Jesus. We who are saved by our faith in Jesus Christ are not controlled by the works or keeping of the Law. We are dead to the Law as we live for Christ. Now we are to live Godly in Christ Jesus and that does mean we are to honor and follow the Ten Commandments but there were 603 other laws written in the Old Testament which the Old Testament Jews were also to keep so when they preach keeping the Law they are speaking of all the laws. This brings us down to one of the greatest verses in the New Testament as we look at verse 20 this week as we see the end of Peter’s confrontation with Peter.
The first thing we will notice is the personal application in this verse as Paul wrote “I am crucified with Christ”. In this one verse alone Paul refers to himself eight times and that tells us that salvation is a personal matter. Each person must be saved for himself. I can’t get saved for you, my family or anyone else. If I could I would. The Philippian jailor came and fell down before Paul and Silas and asked “Sirs, what must I do to be saved”? He was only interested in himself. Paul told him “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house”. The very act that saves you will also save your family but first salvation is personal.
Secondly there is a paradox in this statement. A paradox is a seemingly self-contradicting statement which isn’t one at all. For instance over in Matthew 23:12 Jesus makes the statement “and whosoever shalt exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted”. In other words the way up is down. The paradox in this verse is “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live”. How can you be dead yet live? I deserved the cross and He went in my place but I was there in His heart and mind as He died for me. I died but I am alive. I deserved death because I was a sinner but He took my place on the cross and was crucified in my place.
Then notice the power of the verse as he said “Yet not I but Christ liveth in me”. It isn’t me that lives, or works, or preaches but it is Christ who lives within me. He is the One who empowers me to do what I must do in His service. In Philippians 4:13 Paul wrote “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”. If any man does work in his power it will never last but if one does anything in God’s power it will remain. We need to depend on and rely on Him for our power.
Next, look at the present tense of the verse as Paul said “and the life which I now live in the flesh”. Anything we are ever to do for the Lord we need to do it now. James 4 tells us that we don’t know what shall be on the morrow; we don’t even know if we will be here tomorrow so we need to get busy today doing what we need to do. There are too many who put off their work or service for God until a better or more convenient time. What is wrong with doing it now?
The purpose in the verse is the statement “I live by the faith of the Son of God”. We follow Him and walk in Him by faith. As a Christian, as a church, what is our purpose? Mark 16:15 states “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. That is our purpose, to witness and tell others about Jesus. Let me ask a question; if that is our purpose, why don’t we do it?
For the last thing in the verse look at the plan in the verse as he wrote “Who loved me and gave Himself for me”. Jesus loved us and gave Himself a ransom for us. He left the splendor and comforts of Heaven to come to a world that hated and despised Him; one which slandered and beat Him; one which nailed Him to a cross and killed Him. And he did it because He loved us. Man was lost and in need of a Savior and He became our Savior. All that is required of us is that we believe on Him and trust His work on Calvary for our salvation and accept Him as our Savior. Will you do that this week?