Galatians, Chapter 2
© Copyright 1998 Darroll Evans-all rights reserved

Galatians, Chapter 2

Galatians 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

We live in an "instant" society.

All too often, we look at the past as if it were part of our time period.

Paul was patient. He spent several years in study, meditation, and preaching Christ.

After fourteen years Paul went back to Jerusalem to report on his work among the Gentiles.

Barnabas and Titus went with him. 

Why would it take the Holy Spirit 14 years to consolidate and refine the teaching of Grace within Paul?

If you read Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians, which were his first letters, you will not find a great emphasis on grace.

While it is true that all the original Apostles were successful in their areas of expertise, it is also true that none was a theological giant.

Paul was a trained theologian.

He was also the add-on Apostle. 

Paul studied under the greatest Jewish teacher of his day.

He was a Pharisee of Pharisees.  

We do not just have his word for his excellent reputation among the Jewish elite.

The complete and utter hatred of Paul among even the Jews of today makes it apparent that Paul was the "fair-haired boy" of his generation who, according to Judaism, deserted the Jews to proclaim Christ Jesus!

To this day, most Jews consider Paul to be the founder of Christianity.

I have gone among Jews, and worshipped with Jews.

On any given Sabbath you can hear Jesus quoted, almost with pride, by Rabbis. 

Among many Rabbis, Jesus is a respected rabbinical teacher.

It took Paul years to replace the dead orthodox rabbinical understanding with a living reliance on the crucified and resurrected Christ and the teaching of grace.

Paul had to first establish the teaching of grace in his own heart and mind. 

Paul met with the Church elders in Jerusalem (Acts 15), and submitted the gospel of grace to them.

If you read Acts 15, you will learn that the Jerusalem group reluctantly accepted grace for Gentiles.

Their ignorance of grace is still prevalent within many Churches!

Galatians 2:2 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.

The New Revised Standard Version translates the opening words of this verse as, "I went up in response to a revelation".

That reflects the path of Paul’s life as a follower of Christ.

The Spirit led Paul. The Spirit also leads us.

If the Holy Spirit does not lead you, you are not His!

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Paul went to declare the gospel of grace to the Apostles in Jerusalem.

Even though Peter was the first to preach Christ specifically to Gentiles (Acts 10:34-48), the first Apostles had no concept of grace for Gentiles.

At the meeting in Jerusalem, Peter and James spoke by revelation concerning what would be required of Gentiles (Acts 15).

As we will learn later in Galatians, their testimony was not received by all.

Galatians 2:3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

It is very important that you understand this point! 

The Apostles did not put Gentiles under the Levitical law. 

The rules of conduct for Gentile Christian were few.

Acts 15:20-21
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

At that time, Christianity was still a segment of Judaism.

There was no humanly approved "New Testament."

And, Christians were expected to attend Sabbath meetings.

Galatians 2:4-5
4 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:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

However, some "false" brothers (pretenders) sneaked into Church fellowship.

They came to spy on Church members because of the liberty they had in Christ Jesus. 

Even today, some seek in to turn grace into license.

Others seek in to bring to the "bondage," or slavery to the law. 

Sin is slavery!

Bondage to the Law is satanic slavery!

5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Are you under subjection to freedom in Christ, bondage under the Law?

Christ died to bring us freedom, not bondage. 

Christians respect the Law, but we are subservient to it.

Galatians 2:6 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:

Have you ever met someone who was a legend in his/her own mind? 

Paul was confronting some of those in his letter to the Galatians.

They thought that they were SOMEBODY.

Pride is a plague on men and angels. 

Some of Paul's "false" associates where thought to be special according to their own opinions.

It did not matter to Paul. 

He was joyful just knowing that Christ was proclaimed.

God does not accept men, based on looks.

He is not a respecter of persons (that must be qualified).

How short or tall, how poor or rich, how educated or uneducated, physically handicapped or athletic, genius or challenged---none of those is the basis for God's judgment concerning humans.

Christ is the only basis for judgment.

The only question at the judgment not be "Is Christ Jesus Lord of your life? 

The only question will be directed by the Father to the Son,  “Do you know this person?”

The answer for saint is “yes!”

Those who are not intimate with Christ will hear, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt 7:23)

Paul also says something that is worth keeping in mind when confronted with those who are pretenders.

Those who thought themselves to be something special "added nothing" to Paul’s revelation of Christ.

Galatians 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

This verse would seem to teach two separate and distinct gospels, one for Jews and another for Gentiles. But that is not the case.

This verse is simply a description of the different areas of responsibility; Peter for the Jews, and Paul for the Gentiles.

I will go into what many perceive to be the gospel of works to explain differing concepts.

Many Churches today preach the gospel of “repent and do the commandments” to their Gentile congregations thinking that they are preaching grace when all they are teaching is a works oriented style of life.

Do you accept the teaching of grace?

The separation of areas of responsibility seems to indicate two gospels. Let’s examine those supposed gospels.

First, there is something we must understand about the gospel:

Gal 3:26-29
 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If you are Christ’s regardless of being a Jew or a Gentile you Jew Abraham’s spiritual offspring, and heirs to the Promise.

Now, let’s get back to the gospel (s).

Peter preached to Israelites, telling them that that killed the Messiah. Let’s look at the plan of salvation that Peter presented to the Israelites on that Pentecost. 

Acts 2:37-38
 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


Peter offered salvation by works!


Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


The fact is that you may repent a thousand times, and be baptized so many time that the fish know your Social Security number and still be as lost as lost can be! Re-read what Peter said and you will not find “faith” anywhere in his presentation!


Now, look at the question the Jews asked,


what shall we do (Gr poieesomen-poihsomen)?” That is a prophetic question. And so, the answer is also prophetic. They were asking for the Israeli nation, and the answer was for the entire Israeli nation.


Peter told them to repent. That is an action that they could not accomplish!


It is impossible for an unregenerate person to repent because his mind is enmity toward the Law and righteousness.


If you study Abraham and David, you will find that even in the Old Covenant men were saved by faith! Through faith Abraham was called a friend of God (2 Chron 20:7, James 2;23), Likewise, David’s place as King was established due to faith!


On Pentecost, the Israelite question had more validity than Peter’s response! An unregenerate person cannot choose to be regenerated! That is the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit! It is due to their question and Peter’s response that some believe in two gospels. Again, Gal 2:7 refers to areas of responsibility and not to separate gospels for Jews and Gentiles.


Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

With only your mind and any so-called “freewill” to guide you, you cannot choose what is righteous!

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

“[W]ithout strength” (Gr asthenēs-ἀσθενής) refers to spiritual impotence.

Christ died for those who are ungodly and impotent. He does not rely on your strength to accomplish anything!

2 Cor 12:9-10
 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

His power is demonstrated in your weakness!

Israel as a whole cannot at this point in God’s plan come to Christ Jesus! But, at the proper time they shall! They have been blinded to the Truth, Yahshua, HaMessiach! But, their eyes shall be opened in due time.

So, when will the entire nation of Israel come to Yahshua, HaMessiach?


Here is the exact moment of Israel’s salvation!


Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.


Rev 19:11-16
 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

At the moment Christ returns to earth, all mankind, but especially Israel shall see Him in His glory. Israel shall wail with grief because of their rejection of the Messiah! They shall repent of that and other sins, bow to Him, and proclaim that He is Lord! At that moment the prophecy which was sent forth at Shavuot (Pentecost) shall be fulfilled!


Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:


At the moment of Israel’s greatest vulnerability, Christ Jesus shall demonstrate His power!

Yahshua, HaMessiach shall deliver all of Jacob’s children from the ungodliness that has been embraced by the children of Jacob.

Now, look at the Gentile question and answer. For that we find the Gentile Philippian jailer.


Acts 16:30-32

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.


Notice that the Jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?” That shows that God operates one on one with Gentiles and not on a national level as He does with Israel.


But, that does not indicate two gospels. It shows beyond any doubt that there is only one gospel!


Eph 2:8-9
 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

All are saved by grace through faith plus nothing!

Many look to covenants. However, God does not have a covenant with Gentiles. We are included in the covenant between God the Father and God the Son!


Psalms 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (Heb goyim/Gentiles) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.


Psalms 86:9 All nations (Heb goyim/Gentiles) whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.


Under limited atonement those Scriptures cannot come to pass.

While hanging on the cross and taking responsibility for the sins of the world, Jesus looked down at those below, Jews and Gentiles and asked, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)! It was at that moment that Jesus Christ took complete responsibility for the sins of the Gentiles.

Christ Jesus paid the full and complete price for our redemption!

As a result of Jesus’ action on the Cross, His “visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14). His distorted appearance on the cross was the result of the sin He bore for us! Our sins were that appalling!


It is taught in all Christian Churches that Christ died for the sins of the world!


1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


That being true, those who are teaching a limited atonement as the final part of God’s plan for the ages are teaching an incorrect gospel! And, those who teach unlimited atonement as being achieved in this age are also teaching an incorrect gospel!

As you read about the Philippian jailer, please notice that his instructions were different from the instructions given to Israel. Repentance was not included in the instructions given to the jailer, although it is the result of belief.

The first thing Paul told the jail was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”!

Look at the Romans Road, the most used plan in the Church today.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,


Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


Romans 10:9-11
 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


As you read those verses it becomes apparent the repentance was not even mentioned. In salvation as presented to Gentiles using those verses repentance is a result of salvation, and not a condition for salvation.

Righteousness came upon Abram/Abraham as the result of him believing God!

Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Prior to Abraham being made righteous he had not been circumcised, nor had he done all that Judaism requires. Abraham simply believed Yahweh! 

Those who reject the gospel of grace, be they Jew or Gentile, also reject Christ and His salvation.

Galatians 3:28-29
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

The Spirit "wrought effectually," or placed power into Peter for to preach to the Jews.

The same Spirit gave Paul the power to preach to Gentiles.

On what grounds do Jews base their being chosen by God?  

It is on the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant.

What is the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant?


Due to grace God chose Abraham.

God did not choose Abraham because of works. 

When Abraham (Abram) was chosen he was not a Jew.

In Abram's day there were NO Jews.

Abram was a Gentile by birth.

Abraham believed God, and because of that God accepted him.

That acceptance was the result of grace. 

Today, Christians believe God.

We trust that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus, and the Father accepts that as righteous. 

We are saved by the same method that brought Abram righteousness.

Abram was a Gentile!

Both Paul and Peter had God's power resident in them.

Peter was to work among Jews!

Paul was to work among Gentiles.

Galatians 2:9-10
9 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.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Having understood that God's grace also was given to Paul---James, Peter, and John accepted him as a member in good standing of the Apostles' club. 

The true Apostles not only accepted Paul, they accepted Barnabas, and Titus.

They authorized Paul and Barnabas to go take the gospel to the Gentiles. 

The only thing they ask of Paul and Barnabas was to help provide for poor Christian Jews in Israel. 

This is not an admonishment to help poor Non-Christian Jews today. 

That appeal was from Christian Jews and for Christian Jews.

At this writing the Christians of Ethiopia and Sudan are in greater danger then Jews in any nation.

I am pro-Israel, but the reality is that Sudanese Christians are suffering more today than non-Christian Israelis.

In fact, Jews who convert to Christ are in danger of losing their jobs in Israel.

Freedom OF religion is a western, Christian concept and is practiced only in western Christian nations.

This may have been the only time Paul asked those in the Church to take up a collection.

We know that he graciously accepted gifts from Churches.

However, this may be the only time he actually asked for anything. 

This collection has nothing to do with tithing.

Since only Levites could accept the tithe, and Paul was a Benjaminite, he could not accept a tithe. 

There is no record on any Apostle ever accepting a tithe.

Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

When Peter came to Antioch it caused quite a stir.

Due to Peter's action, Paul actually publicly confronted Peter! 

Again we are dealing with a situation that many of the Jewish Christian leaders did not understand.

This happened years after the Jerusalem conference, at which, Paul’s apostolic call, and the gospel of grace to the Gentiles was confirmed!

And still, Peter and the Jerusalem Jews could not comprehend grace!

And as they claim that Peter is their Church founder!

Roman Catholics (to this day) are ignorant concerning grace!

They preach law with a slight mixture of man’s notion of grace!

We sometimes assume that the Jewish leaders of the church were informed as to the gospel of grace.

They were spiritually challenged!

This situation reveals the importance of revelation knowledge.

The Jewish leaders had a form of "acquired knowledge" concerning grace, but they had no "revelation knowledge." 

Galatians 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Prior to their arrival, Peter freely associated with Gentile Christians. 

When the Jerusalem bunch arrived, Peter dropped back into the Orthodox Jew mind-set.

Peter withdrew from Gentile fellowship. 

At that time, Peter separated himself from the Gentile Christians.

He was afraid of what other Jews might think of him.  

Galatians 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

“Dissimulation” speaks of hypocrisy.

The Jews with Paul fell under the condemnation of hypocritical pseudo-Christians.

Even Barnabas acted as though he trusted tradition more than grace.

Galatians 2:14 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 compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Paul saw that the Christian Jews from Jerusalem did not "walk uprightly" according to the truth of the gospel.

We must ask ourselves, “Do we live according to the truth of the gospel?” 

Paul confronted Peter publicly.

"Why do you compel Gentile Christians to live as Jews? 

Later, Peter came to understand grace, but the Church claiming his authority, the Roman Catholic Church, still does not preach or teach the pure grace of the gospel of Christ. 

It teaches salvation by works and personal submission to an elected human being, or a perverted gospel. 

As of this time in history (today), no Pope has ever preached salvation by grace.

To Peter, Paul and the rest of the Apostles, the term and concept of the papacy were foreign.

Galatians 2:15-16
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we 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.

Jews by nature are sinners just as Gentiles.

However, Jews (or a Jew--Paul) were given the first opportunity to understand grace.

It is made in verse 16 here that a man is not justified, declared innocent by the works of the law, but entirely by the faith of Jesus Christ.  

Ninety-nine percent of Christians do not understand the point of verse 16. 

We believe in Christ Jesus. BUT, we are justified by the faith OF Jesus Christ! The Greek text is explicit.  "Our" faith is like "our" righteousness---useless!

Saving faith is a gift of God just as grace is a gift of God.

It is Jesus’ faith effecting us, or transplanted of saving faith within us.

Prior to coming to Christ we are dead in trespasses and sins, and our faith is also dead.

Have you thanked God for the faith to believe?

Galatians 2:17 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.

"While we seek" to be justified by Christ, may be better understood by translating it---"Seeking to be innocent in the presence of Christ." 

Even that is followed by, "we ourselves also are found sinners."

We do not seek Christ, He seeks us! 

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  

This verse refers to ministers of the gospel who may attempt to preach grace, but trust in the Law.

If you talk the talk---walk the walk.

Galatians 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

Paul did not preach grace so he could build up the Law.

To do so would make him a transgressor---again.

 Galatians 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

As Christians, we are dead to the Law.

That means it does not reign in our lives.

We establish the law and respect it, but we are not ruled by it.

Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Galatians 2:20 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.

When we acknowledge Christ, we become crucified with Him. 

Through the Holy Spirit, Christ lives within us.

We "live" by the faith OF the Son of God. 

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

“Frustrate” means to thwart.

Those who attempt to live in license rather than grace are attempting to thwart the grace of God. 

If righteousness is available through the Law, Christ died in vain.

Christ Jesus did not die in vain and righteousness is not gained by keeping the Law.

Law is Old Testament, but Christians are New Testament believers! We do not, by our own power seek to keep the unkeepable!

Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Those who teach the Old Testament are attempting to deny our Lord Christ Jesus and they are attempting to be saved through the Law. That is their personal vanity seeking self-salvation! They are really lost no matter how moral they may seem to be.


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