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Paul Confronts Peter About Hyprocrisy.

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There was a preacher who was interviewing with a pastoral search committee. An English teacher headed the committee, and was very concerned that the future pastor spoke properly. “When the hen is on the nest, does she sit or set?” he asked the candidate. The hopeful pas … More

Hypocrisy

Apparently sometime after the conference described in the previous verses, Peter came from Jerusalem to Antioch (v. 11). At first he mingled freely with the Gentiles, enjoying their fellowship. Then some men from Jerusalem arrived who were following strict Jewish traditions. They considered those who did not comply with Jewish ceremonial cleanliness and circumcision to be unclean.

Peter was an impulsive man. He could show amazing faith and courage one minute and fail completely the next. Peter who was not afraid to preach the Gospel before unbelievers suddenly becomes fearful of this peer pressure and withdrew from his Gentile friends (v. 12). Not only did he exhibit a hypocritical attitude but he led Barnabas and others astray with him (v. 13). Paul sees this as a threat to Christian freedom so he confronts Peter about this inconsistency before everyone (v. 14). He charged that by joining the judiazers Peter was saying that Christ was not sufficient.

Paul’s words must have stung Peter as he said, “you are a Jew, yet you have been living like a Gentile. The law cannot save us; but after we have become Christians, it can guide us to live as God requires. Now you want the Gentiles to live like Jews. What kind of inconsistency is that? “ Three Biblical principles we can glean from this are:

  1. We are to be accountable to one another.
  2. What we do has an effect on others.
  3. Our commitment to truth cannot be merely intellectual but must be lived.

Application

How do I rate myself in the following areas (Excellent, good or poor)?

  • Accountability with Christians     _________
  • Impact on others                     _________
  • Commitment to truth                _________

Galatians 2:11-14 (English Standard Version)

But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?"

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