Galatians chapter two verse number one the Bible reads, "Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage."
At the beginning of chapter two, I want to remind you of the major themes of the Book of Galatians that we talked about and went over in chapter one. I think one of the best ways to understand Galatians is to understand that this Book is a stern rebuke being sent to the Galatians. If you remember he starts out in chapter one very strongly saying "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Life unto another gospel." He's right away just blown away and then in a few verses he's going to be saying, "You foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you." Over and over again in this book, it's obvious that this is a very stern rebuke to the Church of Galatia that had been infected with false teaching and false doctrine. If you'll remember there are three things that Paul really hammered in chapter one and those three things are going to be hammered all throughout this book. It will help you understand, because there are people who misunderstand some things in chapter two because they don't get the context of chapter two within the book of Galatians where he is rebuking them for these three things.
All the way through the book those three things keep coming up. Number one, he's rebuking works based salvation and he's just nailing the fact that it's by grace through faith. Which again comes up in this chapter. The other thing, number two, is that he's going after the Judaizers in virtually every chapter. The one's who are trying to basically get the Christians to follow the Jewish customs and the parts of the law that are done away in Christ, the circumcision, the [inaudible 00:02:17] all those different type of things, he's really going after them.
The third thing is this idea of trying to please people, instead of pleasing God. Those three things he harps on in chapter one, and those go for the whole book of Galatians in every chapter he's going to hammer those things. You got to keep that in mind as you're reading chapter two. Get the context of chapter one's into and what we see in three, four, five and six. Look down here he says in verse one that "Fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles."
Stop right there. Remember, he just finished saying in chapter one "There is no other Gospel and if anybody tries to preach you another Gospel let it be a curse." This isn't just some special Paul [inaudible 00:03:11] Gospel. No, this is [inaudible 00:03:14]. It says that he spoke privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run in vain. You have to understand there's a lot of stuff in this chapter that he's saying a little bit tongue-in-cheek. That he's saying a little bit jokingly. Kind of like when he talks to Peter and says "By nature, we're Jews by nature. We're not sinners of the Gentile." You have to get the context here, that he's speaking tongue-in-cheek in a lot of it. He's saying, "I just wanted to make sure I haven't been wasting the last fourteen-years that I've been preaching the gospel." That's what he's saying. When he says that he went communicated the gospel to those of poor reputation lest by any means that he should run, or had run in vain. Saying, "I just want I haven't been preaching lies for the last seventeen-years." He knew he was preaching the truth, but he's saying it tongue-in-cheek.
Let's keep reading. It says in verse three, "But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage." You say, "Well Pastor Anderson, I don't believe you that it's tongue-in-cheek." If we go back, and look up this story in Acts, it'll be real obvious to you where Paul stood on this issue. This is making reference to a story about false brethren coming in to spy out their liberty of Christ Jesus and bring them back into bondage and this question of whether Titus is going to be compelled to be circumcised, we can actually look that up back in the Book of Acts because it's found in chapter fifteen. Let's go there. That will help us to understand when we go to the story that he's actually eluding too here.
He's talking about when they went up to Jerusalem, and he explains that the reason they went up to Jerusalem was, "Because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage." ... [inaudible 00:05:18] Those people who were bringing them back into bondage, were the one's that were teaching that they had to do the commandments to be saved, be circumcised to be saved we still have in chapter five, and also just trying to get them to partake of the Jewish customs in general. Those are the people that are being referred too. Let's go back to chapter fifteen of Acts verse one the bible reads, "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved." These are those false brethren that Paul's referring too and he said false brethren he's basically saying, "These people are pretending to be Christians and they're not really saved." They are not really believers. They are frauds. They are Judas of Iscariot if you will. He says that these people came down and said that, "If you are not circumcised, you cannot be saved."
Verse two, "When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question." Let me stop right here and tell you that this was not questionable to Paul at all. He said, "We had no small disputation with these people." Back in Galatians chapter two, you don't have to turn back there if you're not there already. In verse five about these same people it says, "To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you." Paul makes it real clear that he was never sucked in by these people.
Pastor: He didn't give these people the time of day, no, not for an hour, he knew that it was lies. He knew that it was false. He had no small disputation with them, he had a big disputation with them.
Pastor: Other people in the church, the elders and so forth, they decided that they would go down to Jerusalem to resolve this question. Not that it was questionable in the minds of Paul or Barnabas, but that it's questionable in their minds. I just want to make that clear. Paul knew that the Gospel was by grace or faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and that it didn't have anything to do with works, including being circumcised or anything else. In verse two of chapter fifteen it ends on that question.
Verse three, "And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them." That's that conversation privately with them that were of reputation he's referring too in Galatians two.
Then it says in verse five, "But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses." Just so you don't get lost in the story I want to make this real clear. The thing that Paul was dealing with at the beginning of chapter fifteen ... brethren, unsafe people are coming in and saying that they have to be circumcised and keep the law to be saved. This is salvation is in the apostle in Jerusalem just to make sure." Okay, whatever, he just took it as a direct to go and tell all the great things they got him to doing and look up at the brethren there. When he gets there, he tells them all these things. They agree with him of course and Galatians chapter two he says, "That they added nothing unto him."
Meaning that they affirm, "Yes you're right Paul, yes you're teaching the true gospel that is by faith in Jesus." Then what happens in Acts chapter fifteen, verse five is that this other issue comes up. This is a separate issue, because it's as then, "But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses." Now these pharices who have believed these people are actually saved. They're not trying to mix this in with salvation, but what they're saying is that well okay it's not part of their salvation but they should still get circumcised. They should still follow the [crosstalk 00:09:41] and so forth. That becomes the new topic of discussion Whether or not [crosstalk 00:09:49] should be circumcised in general or whether or not they should keep the law amongst in general versus being about salvation. That was just instantly resolved. Paul and Barnabas never gave place to that and when they showed up and talked to the apostles, the apostles agree with them.
[inaudible 00:10:06] here in the Bible it says in verse six "And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter." They're not considering how to be saved, they're considering this matter. Whether they should be circumcised and keep the law in general. Verse seven, "When there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe." This is going to be important in a minute, so I want you to pay attention to that. Peter gets up and said, "Hey, you remember how God wanted me to preach the gospel to the Gentiles." This is that story back in chapter ten where God specifically told Peter to preach the gospel to Cornelies who is an Italian. That was God's working and God's will that God directed him to preach to that Italian guy.
Let's keep going it says in verse eight, "And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day. Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: For as much as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." So on and so forth, if you keep reading. The bottom line is that there was confusion in the early church about this issue. Paul was not a part of that confusion. Paul knew where he stood on this issue. He was right about this issue. Peter is backing him up on this issue. When they all get together and talk about it there was confusion where there were people that were saying, "No, we need to be circumcised, no we need to be [inaudible 00:13:42]." The question is, who was right and who was wrong? God is telling us who is right and who is wrong, the book of Galatians is inspired by God and it's calling the [crosstalk 00:13:52] salvation, it's calling them out as false brethren, and [inaudible 00:13:57] called to have the last word here. To explain that these people are wrong.
Look back if you would, keep your finger at fifteen, the Book of Galatians chapter two, look what is says in verse three, of Galatians chapter two, "But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in." Here's what he's saying, these false brethren came preaching all this circumcisions, circumcisions, circumcisions, because of that there was a question of whether Titus should be compelled to be circumcised. This is an adult man, who is a Greek man, but he's saying he is a believer in Christ and they're trying to circumcise this guy. In the end, Titus ends up not being circumcised and Paul is blaming a lot of this false doctrine on believers who come in. To make it simple, these unsaved people that were the Judeizers come in teaching work salvation and all of this garbage. What happens is people that are actually saved get caught up in some of their false doctrine. It's the same thing we see today with this Judeizing movement and a states known as, the Hebrew Roots Movement and it's a movement that is started by total unbelievers. Totally unsane people.
If you look at the architects of this movement, if you look at the people who are the main teachers, they're works based salvation type teachers.
Pastor: What happens is a lot of people that are saved, they get caught up in it. They start listening to all these rabbis and these Hebrew Roots type teachers, because it's possible for a saved Christians, not to start going around preaching works salvation full-blown. I don't believe that's going to happen, because once you are saved you know it's by grace of faith.
Pastor: It's easier for them to just get caught up in this whole thing of, "But hey, we should be circumcised. Hey, we should circumcise our children. We should follow these feast days, and the feasts of tabernacles, and the feast of trumpets, and we should do all these cardinal ordinances," which the New Testament tells us are specifically done away in Christ. It says that those things were a shadow of things to come. That they were a figure for the time then of present, but that Christ being come there is a necessity, a change in the law the Bible says, read Hebrews. He said, "I come not to destroy the law and prophets, but to fulfill." Some of those things are fulfilled in Christ. You say, "Well how do I know which things?" The Bible specifically tells us in Hebrews.
Pastor: In Colossians, in Galatians, books like that, it specifically tells us what has been done away in Christ. Obviously none of the moral laws have been done away. It's still wrong to kill, steal, obviously all those things, but when it comes to some of the ceremonial law, the cardinal ordinances, the meats, the drinks, the divers washing those things have been done away in Christ. Just as in Paul's day there were false teachers trying to bring those things back in, we have the same thing going on today.
Look at Acts chapter sixteen if you're still there in Acts fifteen, look at chapter sixteen and remember the context. This is right after this big discussion ... don't have to be circumcised. That was the resolution of chapter fifteen. Look at chapter sixteen verse one, "Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
Does he say here the he circumcised Timotheus, because it was the right thing to do, because that's what God wanted him to do, that's what God had commanded? No. What's he doing it for? To please man.
Pastor: Remember, that was one of the other things in Galatians, all these three things keep coming up in every chapter. This thing of pleasing man versus pleasing God, the Judeizers, and the work salvation. These are three things that he's attacking. Paul's not a perfect person. What we see in Acts sixteen is Paul making a mistake.
Pastor: Where he circumcises Timotheus, to please man. He just wants to shut the Jews up. He just gets him circumcised, just so that they can say he's circumcised, so that they won't give him any trouble. Let's go back to Galatians two. The reason I took a lot of time to give you all that background is because it's important for understanding the rest of this chapter. To understand the beginning part of the chapter.
He starts out by telling this story about how Titus almost got circumcised, but he didn't. Then we know from Acts that he did compel Timothy to be circumcised. We know that there were false brethren bringing in work salvation. There were people bringing in this Judeizing doctrine and so forth. Look what the Bible says in verse six of Galatians chapter two it says, "But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me," remember this is the same story as Acts fifteen that we just read, "that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Here's where people get confused. People read this and they just stop right there. They take this scripture out of context and say, "Oh see, Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, all the other apostles were sent to the circumcision." That is a lie, that is false doctrine. If you remember very clearly, Jesus Christ, himself said to the eleven apostles, of whom, Peter and John were two of them, two of the three guys that are mentioned here, he specifically looked at them and said, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever, I commanded you and lo I am with you always, even at the end of the world." He said, "Go teach all nations."
Did he say, "Go only to one nation?" Later I'm going to call a different guy, that you guys have never met or heard of, later I'm going to go get a different guy and he's going to do all nations, all by himself. You eleven guys are all going to go to one nation and it's the nation that we've already been talking to for they last three-and-a-half-years and we've already gone to every ... college but I want you eleven guys to keep doing that for the rest of your lives, because I'm going to call another guy later that you don't' even know and he's going to do all nations. Is that what he said?
Pastor: No, he looked at those eleven guys, he said, "You eleven guys go teach all nations." What are they saying here, "Oh, God's given us the ministry to the circumcision, and he's giving you the ministry of the uncircumcision." And giving them the right hand of those of "You guys go to the Gentiles, we're going to stay here with the Jews." That's all man's reasoning. That didn't come from God. Even in the story itself in Acts fifteen, when God got involved who is he telling Peter to go talk to? The Italian. Peter even gets up in that exact meeting and says, "You remember how God wanted me to preach to the uncircumcision? And God appeared to me in a vision." They're like, so it's settled we're going to the circumcisions. What? He just finished saying how God told you to go talk to the Eden. Now you're like, well Paul's going to do that. You got that covered? We're going to stay here in Jerusalem and keep beating our heads against the wall with unreceptive people. It makes no sense my friend, but it does make sense when you understand that they are just disobeying. They're disobeying God.
Here's why, it becomes obvious, and here's why you have to read the whole chapter and not just take a couple of verses. When you get to verse eleven there's a but in there. It says, "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed." Peter was wrong a minute ago and Peter's wrong again here. The but is, "Well, but this time I stood up to him." Basically, Paul didn't really stand up to them in Acts fifteen, because remember at the beginning of chapter sixteen he's slinking away and circumcising his buddy. Whereas, here he stands up to them in Antioch. He says, "But when I was in Antioch I withstood him to the face." You see Peter was just as wrong to say, "Well, I'm going to the circumcision and you're going to the uncircumcision." As he was in Antioch, it's just this is where he is being confronted for it. He's being confronted by Paul. It's a classic case of when we study the Bible we have to go with what God says over what man said. A lot of times in the Bible it records what people say.
It records what people do. A lot of times people will look at what people do and just take it as gospel. For example, they'll say, "Oh, well it's okay to have more than one wife because here's a person in the Bible who had more than one wife." Wait a minute, just because someone in the Bible had more than one wife that doesn't mean God told them to do that, or you say, "Oh well Peter here said that they go to the circumcision." That doesn't mean God said that. This is Peter saying that and he's wrong.
Pastor: That's why Paul has to rebuke him, and correct him, because Peter has come under this Judeizing effect. This foolishness of neglecting the whole rest of the world, so he can just keep giving the gospel of the circumcision over and over again. There are people today who are like that. There on this mission to win Judas of the Lord. Look I'm all for winning. Everybody of the Lord, but I'm against targeting Jews for gospel. I'm against it. "Oh, I can't believe he said that!" I'm against it I said! Why because God never told us to do ... to preach the gospel to every creature and He said that He sent profits and profits to Israel, last of all he sent his Son and when they rejected the Son He told them go teach and preach all nations. If we go out knocking doors and we knock on the door of a Jew, we're going to give them the gospel. If we knock on the door of red, yellow, black, white, we're going to give them the gospel. To go out, and seek out Jews and say, "Well, I'm a Jew, and we're going to go on a ministry just to reach Jews." That's not what the New Testament told you to do.
The New Testament just told you to go out and teach to every creature and to understand there's no difference between the Jew and the Greek. It's not like you get one point for getting a Gentile, so if you get ten points you get extra rewards in Heaven. Paul said, "My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved." That's his heart, that's his idea, but God keeps telling him, "Go to the Gentiles, go to the Gentiles, go to the Gentiles." Then in Acts Paul is trying to go back to Jerusalem for some feast and he's going to preach to them and the Holy Ghost is sending profits to him telling him, "No! You're going to be bound." And he's like, "No, I'm willing to be bound." No, he's called to the Gentiles, God is calling Peter to the Gentiles. God's telling the eleven disciples teach all nations. Look, there's all these nations, eleven guys, spread out, go do it. Instead it's just a bunch of guys in Jerusalem.
Then Paul has to be called and sent ... and you know why half the New Testament's written by Paul? You know why half the book of Acts is about Paul? I guess the Bible just got tired of telling us about them in Jerusalem. The Book of Acts starts out with the disciples. It starts out with Peter, James, John, that's how it starts, but halfway through the Book those guys are just out of the picture. Why? Cause God's just not going to keep telling us, "And they were still in Jerusalem and then three-years later, they were still in Jerusalem, and then eight-years-later they were still in Jerusalem and then twenty-years later they were still in Jerusalem." God says, "Let's follow the story of somebody who's actually obeying me."
Pastor: You know what I mean! He basically is following the life of Paul as he goes all throughout ... I'm going to Spain, and I'm going into Italy, and I'm going in to all these different places. Why? He's obeying. That's why we hear so much about him. That's why he writes half the New Testament. Why? God said, "I need somebody to write to the Thesolonians, I need somebody to write to the Galatians, I need somebody to write to the Corinthians, I need somebody to write to the Ephesians." You can't use a bunch of guys that are just hanging in Jerusalem all the time.
There all like, "Oh, let me write the book of Hebrews!" Paul is writing it. "What! What are you talking about Paul is writing it?" I'm joking but the point is though you see this and I think what it is, is people just like to stick with what they're comfortable.
Pastor: It would be like if God told us here at Faithful Word, "All right guys, you guys are going to go throughout the whole world preaching the gospel," and everybody's like, "Well, I'm pretty comfortable here." Nobody necessarily wants to hop on the ship to Africa, or India, or Asia, or South America. I think a lot of them are just comfortable in Jerusalem. They're comfortable talking to the people that they know. They don't want to get out of their comfort zone. They don't want to get out of their shell and talk to some people. It's sort of like when you go soloing with somebody when they only want to talk to somebody who already goes to a Christian church but their just not saved, and then they get to an Atheist and their, "See ya." I've been out soloing and somebody says they're Atheist and I don't go "Oh, okay bye." Or they're Muslims and I go, "Okay, bye." It's like they want to talk to somebody who already knows the basics. They just want to be there to finish it off. We got to be ready to go preach Christ where he's never been named. Where we're not even building on another man's foundation.
If you walk up to the door and somebody's an Atheist great, give them the gospel. If they're a Muslim, or if they're a Jew, if they're whatever, just give them the gospel. These people are just looking for the low hanging fruit. Where they already know the Old Testament. They are misguided to think that those people are more likely to get saved. When in reality they are less likely to get saved. The fact that the Gentiles are not being more receptive. Throughout Acts you'll see Paul slip into this some times. Where he'll start talking to the Jews and then he gets real mad and he's like, "That's it I'm going to the Gentiles from now on." Then a few chapters later he's still talking to the Jews again. Then he gets real mad again he's like, "I don't know why I'm talking to you guys I'm going to the Gentiles." He does that three times in the Book of Acts.
We understand the whole context of Galatians and Acts it's real obvious what this chapter's about here. If you just isolate a little verse here a little verse there you can teach these twisted doctrines like the dispensations where they teach that, "Oh well Paul was our apostle all of the other apostle's were sent to Israel." This is all nonsense, none of this came out of the mouth of Jesus Christ. This is just what man's logic and man justifying not doing the will of God.
Let's keep reading here, he says verse nine, "When James, Cephas, and John," Cephas is Peter, "Who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision." Just total disregard of the fact that Jesus told them to go to the heathen. They're just not doing it. In verse eleven, "But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James," James is the head honcho in Acts chapter fifteen it says, "Before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: ... he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision."
Remember, this is the same Peter who received a special vision where God specifically told him that he should not call any man unclean. He told him to go in with Gentiles and eat with them. Those specific things were told to him. Now we see him here in his human weakness. He's sitting and eating with the Gentiles, as he was told to do, and then as soon as them from James come, all of the sudden he gets up and goes to a different table in the lunchroom. He doesn't want them from James seeing him. He's embarrassed of being with the Gentiles. Does this make Peter a horrible person? No, but it makes Peter wrong here. The Bible's telling us that even great men of God can sometimes be wrong. They can sometimes do things wrong. That's why you don't look at what they do you look at what God says. There's no doubt about what God says about salvation. There's no doubt about what God says about whether or not we should be circumcised in the New Testament. There's no doubt about who the apostles are suppose to be preaching too.
Then it says here, verse thirteen, "And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him;" basically, when Peter gets up with his tray in the cafeteria and goes and sits somewhere else, all the other Jews look at that and say Peter's getting up and moving? Well we're going to move too. They all pick up their lunch tray and go sit over there at the Jew table. It shows you how false doctrine can be infectious and this is why Paul had to deal with it. It's just spreading and these people should have known better. It says in verse thirteen halfway through, "insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation." Barnabas is right there with Paul preaching against this stuff but so many people got up and moved their tray he just looked around and [inaudible 00:33:39].
Here's what Peter says when he confronts him verse fourteen, "But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compel lest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" Say that five times fast. He's rebuking him and saying you're a hypocrite. You don't believe in following all this Jewish stuff, but yet you're trying to compel other people to do stuff that you don't even do. That you don't even follow.
Then it says in verse fifteen, "We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles," again tongue-in-cheek here, remember in Romans he makes it clear that the Jew is just as much of a sinner as the Gentiles, there's no difference, we've all sinned. It says, "There is no difference between Jew and Greek, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that's in Christ Jesus." He's saying tongue-in-cheek, "We who are Jews by nature avoid genealogy." In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile. He's just we who are Jews by nature not sinners of the Gentiles. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we who have believed in Jesus Christ that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Obviously he doesn't think he's not a sinner, he knows he's a sinner, they're all sinners. Everybody's a sinner it's very clear. Verse sixteen is a very powerful verse affirming that salvation is by faith not by the deeds of the law. Galatians two, sixteen is a verse that you should have memorized or underlined and it's very useful for soloing. "But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
I'm going slowly and breaking this down you got to get the whole context ... people just quote verse fifteen all by itself and say see their Jews by nature they're not sinners of the Gentile. Understand that he's being sarcastic because two verses later he's like, what if it turns out that we're sinners too? He says, "For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. What he's explaining is we're still sinners but that doesn't make salvation of no effect. That doesn't make the word of God void. It doesn't make God the minister of sin. When we commit sin, it's the old man that's sinning, it's not the new creature that's sinning.
Go to Romans chapter seven, I'll show you that real quick. The Bible says in verse number fourteen, "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." Verse fifteen, "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I." In verse fifteen he's saying that he does things that he hates. There are things that he really wants to do that he ends up not doing. What's he referring too? He wants to do right, but he ends up doing wrong. The spirit truly is willing but the flesh is weak. This is our Christian life none of us is perfect. We all do wrong things. If the world will see a Christian do something wrong they'll say, "See right there that proves that this person is a complete fraud because they sinned." No, it doesn't mean that they're a complete fraud it means that every human being is a sinner and even after you're saved the sinful flesh is still with you. Sometimes you do things that you don't want to do or not doing things that you should be doing because you're human.
Sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. None of us is perfect, none of us is without sin. If somebody is married and they're committing adultery on the side, that person is a major hypocrite that person is living a double life. That's not what I'm talking about. That's a major sin. It seems like some people just want to jump on any mistake that anybody makes and declare them to be a complete phony or fraud. It's just not true, because everybody should know that we as Christians are sinners and make mistakes. How many people want to quit smoking, then they smoke another cigarette and say they're done, or whether it's drinking or whatever. We're human. The goal is to crucify the flesh that we'd be crucified with Christ and that we would walk in the spirit. That we would walk in unison life.
As we grow in our Christian life hopefully we're doing more walking with the spirit and less walking in the flesh. That's our growth, that's the progress that we make. Let's keep reading here in Romans seven, in verse sixteen he says, "If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good." In verse sixteen he's saying that when he does the wrong thing he doesn't say well the commandments wrong. He's admitting God's words stands but I made a mistake. Meaning that he's not always trying to justify his sin. Sometimes when catch someone doing something wrong they'll say, "Well, what I did wasn't really wrong." Paul's saying that's not the case. I knew I was wrong and I blew it. I did something wrong. Verse sixteen, "If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" He's just saying it bugs me because I keep sinning and I don't want to, I want to do what's right, but I end up doing bad things. Saying, "O wretched man," he's blaming his body, his member, his flesh, because when we get saved our spirit is regenerated and the Bible says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." A lot of people try and take that verse and say, "All things are become new that means your life is going to change." If that were a change of lifestyle all things would mean all. That'd mean you're living a perfect life.
Is that what the Bible teaches? No, what that teaching when is says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature," That's talking about the new man, that's talking about the spirit. Your spirit has been regenerated, your soul. That's why Paul said, "I delight in the law of God after the inward man." Inside, I want to do what's right. That's the real me he says. I find this other law warring in my members. The flesh is still there and the flesh is constantly warring against the spirit and it's causing a [inaudible 00:43:25]. That's why the Bible tells us, "Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh." We need to mortify the members of our uncleanness upon this earth. Go back to Galatians chapter two with that in mind. So notice twice in Romans he said that when he does that he would not, it's no longer I that do it but sin that dwelleth in me." He's saying I'm not even the one that is doing it as the new man, it's the old man that's responsible of it. That's why the moment that we die as believers, when we die physically we will never sin again. The flesh will be dead, at the resurrection we're going to get a brand new body.
Right now our soul and spirit have been regenerated but we've got the same old flesh that we had before we got saved. That's why if you walk in the flesh, you will be just like you were before you were saved. You'll be the same way. The flesh doesn't change. It seems like modern Christianity this fact is lost on that. They've completely lost sight of the fact that you cannot reform the flesh. The Bible says, "The carnal mind is enmity against God, it cannot be brought into subjection's of the laws of God." You can't change the old man, you can't fix him, reform him, you can't make him obey God. The old man is incorrigible. The new man, the spiritual man, that's the one that wants to do what's right. The flesh is always going to be there and continue to do that which is wrong. You can never eradicate that. You can never permanently kill the old man and be sinless and perfect. You will continue to sin until the day that you die and the degree to which you will sin is the degree to which you walk in the flesh.
That's why if a person gets saved, if they believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and they don't go to church, they don't read the Bible, don't pray, don't sing the hymns do you think they're walking in the flesh or the spirit? Obviously they're walking in the flesh. So, they're going to be pretty much exactly ... The difference is now they have the voice inside them so there's more of a conscience there. The same flesh is going to have the same cravings, and want to do the same things as it did before. When you see that same person get in church, read their Bible, pray, sing hymns, these are things that the Bible says will cause them to be filled with the spirit. You're going to see a dramatic change in that person and say "Wow that persons really changing." Really it's not that a person is changing, now more of the new nature is shining through and less of the old nature. A Christian who "hasn't changed" and is still the way they were before they were saved, we're seeing the old man in control all the time and that's why we say that person hasn't changed at all.
As that person grows and we start seeing more of the new man that's where we see from our perspective "a change." It's really not as much of a change as an exchange. It's not like we're changing the old man, it's that there's a new nature, a new guy that we're seeing. That's a big difference, it matters, a huge difference when we understand that. People will look at somebody who lives the same why and say, "Well, that guy's not saved." It doesn't mean that he's not saved. I know the old man's not saved, none of our old men are saved. None of our flesh is saved. It's a major importance to understand that and in our own personal lives we need to understand that. In order to understand how to overcome a sinner life. Some people that think the old man is just dead and gone and never to return, they feel like they can play around with sin because they feel I'll never go back to those places again. I'll never go back to that life. Oh yes you will, if you don't take heed, if you're not careful you will. There have been a lot of people who've said, "Oh I'm never going back to that life." Who went back to that life.
Why? That door will always be open. The flesh is always there and that's why the apostle Paul said, "I die daily." It's not just a one time, I got saved, these preachers get up and say, "I got saved and I never craved a cigarette again, from the moment I got saved. I never craved another drop of liquor." They'll get up and talk about this junk and it's lies. There's no way to sugar-coat it. It's a lie. Well, their experience is different, no they're lying. Somebody might of had a great experience quitting Poker, but the point is this experience of the "Oh, when I got saved," all the sudden they just don't have temptation anymore? ... Statements like that saying, "Bless God, when I got saved I got all the way saved." Or they'll get up and say, "If you didn't have that kind of change then you're not really saved." It's garbage. Then they'll misquote if any man made of Christ is a new creature. They're totally twisting what that scripture's saying. It makes people doubt their salvation [inaudible 00:49:27] I talked to a guy who was a pastor, I was talking to him about some people I know are struggling to quit smoking, and he said, "The first three days is the worst, but the craving never totally goes away. I haven't smoked in fifteen-years but it sounds really good right now."
There's a guy who's actually telling you the truth. Not some prideful arrogant guy who's getting up and saying, "I'm above temptation." No you're not. Everybody has temptation. Everybody's human. The people who are actually humble enough to acknowledge and admit that, that's why the Bible says, "Let him that think it take heed lest ye fall." If we realize that the old man's still there, if we realize that the flesh is still there then we're going to take heed and be careful. Understand that everyday we need to walk in the spirit. Everyday we need to read our Bibles. Everyday we need to pray. We need to be in church every time the doors are open. To make sure that we're taking care of the new man and that we're feeding the spirit, and we're shutting out the sin nature. There are people who get a lot more used to walking in the spirit then in the flesh. That's where you see people living a good Godly and Christian life. That potential is always there for the old man to rear up his ugly head and take over.
As soon as they stop taking heed unto it. As soon as they let down their guard. This doctrine is lost on so many people today, they don't get it. They think when people get saved this button is pushed and all these things change. It's just not the case. The way that people are before they got saved is the same way the old man is going to be after they're saved. The change is that a new man has come in.
Pastor: The new man's been created rights to this through holiness and now there's a war between those two, and there's the potential to walk in the new man that's there. Let me just close on this last verse, this is a great verse, I love this verse, in chapter two verse twenty-one, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." That is such a profound statement. It's an important statement. If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Let me give this to you in the vernacular, if good people go to Heaven and bad people go to hell, then why would Jesus have to die on the cross? It doesn't even make sense. He said, "If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Basically, he's saying, "Jesus wasted his time dying for us if you could just keep the law and get to Heaven." But Paul said, "And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith."
It's amazing people think that you can be saved by works. You ask people, how do you know you're going to Heaven. "Because I do good," just today, an hour ago [inaudible 00:52:47] the door. Do you know for sure if He died and then you can go to Heaven?" This lady tells me, "Oh yeah, I know for sure I'm going." What do you think it takes to get there? "Doing good things, living a good life." If doing good things and living a good life get you to Heaven then Christ is dead in vain. Why die on the cross?
Pastor: Why not just send the good people to Heaven and send the bad people to Hell? Here's why Jesus had to die on the cross, because we're all bad people. We all deserve Hell. We've all sinned and come short of the glory of God. That's why we all need to be justified freely of His grace through the redemption that's in Christ Jesus.
Pastor: None of us is worthy. There's none righteous no not one. They'll teach in the Old Testament you're saved by works. How did that work? Then why'd Jesus go and die on the cross and mess that up if you could just work your way to Heaven by being good? Why don't we just keep working our way to Heaven? Guess what, nobody's ever worked their way to Heaven, because you'll fail, because you're a sinner, you're not good enough. Jesus said, "Your righteous would have to exceed the Scribes and Pharisees," people who had dedicated their lives to serving God. Being righteous in our own goodness, keeping God's law is not enough. That's why this verse is so powerful to show people who think they're justifies by keeping the laws. Keeping what laws? Keeping laws like thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, thou shalt not covet all the different commandments telling us not to lie, telling us not to fornicate, telling us not to do this, do that. He says, "If righteousness come by the law then Christ is dead in vain."
A lot of people mix in the deeds and law, because they'll say, you have to be willing to stop doing these sins and believe in Jesus. No, just believe in Jesus period.
Pastor: Justified by faith without the deeds and the law. Without being willing to start doing the deeds of the law.
Male: Yeah, right.
Pastor: It's just by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified ... righteousness just doesn't come by the law period. If it did then Christ is dead in vain. If it's through faith and the blood of Christ, then we understand why he died, because he had too. That's why when he's in the Garden of Gethsemane, and He's weeping before the Father he said, "If it be possible let this cup pass from Me, not as My will but as Thou will." He's saying if there's any other way I don't want to go through with this, let this cup ... He didn't want to go through with it, dying and everything associated with that, He did it because it was the only way. You're going to make that all vain by saying, "Oh, salvation my work, it's by the things that you do." You're frustrating the ways of God.
Again, chapter two taught all the same things that chapter one did, didn't it? More railing against the Judeizers, more talk about people trying to please man. What's Peter doing when he gets up and moves to the other part of the cafeteria? Pleasing man. What's Paul doing when he circumcised Timotheus? Pleasing man and more speaking against the Judeizers and the works salvation. That's what this books about, these three things are just as relevant today, as they were back then.
Father, thank you so much, for this chapter and help us to get these three lessons and really let them sink down into our ears, Lord and not be deceived by this works salvation or Judeizing effect, trying to get the Gentiles to live as do the Jews. Lord, help us not to worry about what man thinks it's what You think, Lord. If we know something's right help us stand for it and not be bullied or pushed around by peer-pressure, in Jesus' name we pray, Amen.