Bible: Gal 1:11-3:14

Paul’s Vindication of His Apostleship

1:11 Now 1  I want you to know, brothers and sisters, 2  that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 3  1:12 For I did not receive it or learn it from any human source; 4  instead I received it 5  by a revelation of Jesus Christ. 6 

1:13 For you have heard of my former way of life 7  in Judaism, how I was savagely persecuting the church of God and trying to destroy it. 1:14 I 8  was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my nation, 9  and was 10  extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 11  1:15 But when the one 12  who set me apart from birth 13  and called me by his grace was pleased 1:16 to reveal his Son in 14  me so that I could preach him 15  among the Gentiles, I did not go to ask advice from 16  any human being, 17  1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem 18  to see those who were apostles before me, but right away I departed to Arabia, 19  and then returned to Damascus.

1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem 20  to visit Cephas 21  and get information from him, 22  and I stayed with him fifteen days. 1:19 But I saw none of the other apostles 23  except James the Lord’s brother. 1:20 I assure you 24  that, before God, I am not lying about what I am writing to you! 25  1:21 Afterward I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 1:22 But I was personally 26  unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 1:23 They were only hearing, “The one who once persecuted us is now proclaiming the good news 27  of the faith he once tried to destroy.” 1:24 So 28  they glorified God because of me. 29 

Confirmation from the Jerusalem Apostles

2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem 30  again with Barnabas, taking Titus along too. 2:2 I went there 31  because of 32  a revelation and presented 33  to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did so 34  only in a private meeting with the influential people, 35  to make sure that I was not running – or had not run 36 in vain. 2:3 Yet 37  not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. 2:4 Now this matter arose 38  because of the false brothers with false pretenses 39  who slipped in unnoticed to spy on 40  our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, to make us slaves. 41  2:5 But 42  we did not surrender to them 43  even for a moment, 44  in order that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. 45 

2:6 But from those who were influential 46  (whatever they were makes no difference to me; God shows no favoritism between people 47 ) – those influential leaders 48  added 49  nothing to my message. 50  2:7 On the contrary, when they saw 51  that I was entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised 52  just as Peter was to the circumcised 53  2:8 (for he who empowered 54  Peter for his apostleship 55  to the circumcised 56  also empowered me for my apostleship to the Gentiles) 57  2:9 and when James, Cephas, 58  and John, who had a reputation as 59  pillars, 60  recognized 61  the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me 62  the right hand of fellowship, agreeing 63  that we would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 64  2:10 They requested 65  only that we remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager to do.

Paul Rebukes Peter

2:11 But when Cephas 66  came to Antioch, 67  I opposed him to his face, because he had clearly done wrong. 68  2:12 Until 69  certain people came from James, he had been eating with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he stopped doing this 70  and separated himself 71  because he was afraid of those who were pro-circumcision. 72  2:13 And the rest of the Jews also joined with him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray with them 73  by their hypocrisy. 2:14 But when I saw that they were not behaving consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas 74  in front of them all, “If you, although you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to force 75  the Gentiles to live like Jews?

Jews and Gentiles are Justified by Faith

2:15 We are Jews by birth 76  and not Gentile sinners, 77  2:16 yet we know 78  that no one 79  is justified by the works of the law 80  but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. 81  And 82  we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ 83  and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one 84  will be justified. 2:17 But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ then one who encourages 85  sin? Absolutely not! 2:18 But if I build up again those things I once destroyed, 86  I demonstrate that I am one who breaks God’s law. 87  2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, 88  and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So 89  the life I now live in the body, 90  I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, 91  who loved me and gave himself for me. 2:21 I do not set aside 92  God’s grace, because if righteousness 93  could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing! 94 

Justification by Law or by Faith?

3:1 You 95  foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell 96  on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed 97  as crucified! 3:2 The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law 98  or by believing what you heard? 99  3:3 Are you so foolish? Although you began 100  with 101  the Spirit, are you now trying to finish 102  by human effort? 103  3:4 Have you suffered so many things for nothing? – if indeed it was for nothing. 3:5 Does God then give 104  you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law 105  or by your believing what you heard? 106 

3:6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, 107  3:7 so then, understand 108  that those who believe are the sons of Abraham. 109  3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, 110  saying, “All the nations 111  will be blessed in you.” 112  3:9 So then those who believe 113  are blessed along with Abraham the believer. 3:10 For all who 114  rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law.” 115  3:11 Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith. 116  3:12 But the law is not based on faith, 117  but the one who does the works of the law 118  will live by them. 119  3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming 120  a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree) 121  3:14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, 122  so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.

NET Bible Study Environment