Defending the Gospel
1Then after fourteen years #Acts 15:2I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. 2And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but #Acts 15:1–4privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means #(Rom. 9:16; 1 Cor. 9:24); Gal. 5:7; Phil. 2:16; 1 Thess. 3:5; 2 Tim. 4:7; Heb. 12:1I might run, or had run, in vain. 3Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4And this occurred because of #Acts 15:1, 24; 2 Cor. 11:13, 26; Gal. 1:7false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our #Gal. 3:25; 5:1, 13; (James 1:25)liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, #Gal. 4:3, 9that they might bring us into bondage), 5to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that #(Gal. 1:6; 2:14; 3:1); Col. 1:5the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
6But from those #Gal. 2:9; 6:3who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; #Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something #2 Cor. 11:5; 12:11added nothing to me. 7But on the contrary, #Acts 9:15; 13:46; 22:21; Rom. 11:13when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised #1 Cor. 9:17; 1 Thess. 2:4; 1 Tim. 1:11had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8(for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the #1 Pet. 1:1circumcised #Acts 9:15also #(Gal. 3:5)worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), 9and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be #Matt. 16:18pillars, perceived #Rom. 1:5the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, #Acts 13:3that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10They desired only that we should remember the poor, #Acts 11:30the very thing which I also was eager to do.
No Return to the Law
11#Acts 15:35Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12for before certain men came from James, #(Acts 10:28; 11:2, 3)he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
14But when I saw that they were not straightforward about #Gal. 1:6; 2:5; Col. 1:5the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter #1 Tim. 5:20before them all, #(Acts 10:28); Gal. 2:12“If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? 15#(Acts 15:10)We who are Jews by nature, and not #Matt. 9:11sinners of the Gentiles, 16#Acts 13:38, 39; Gal. 3:11knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but #Rom. 1:17by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not #Ps. 143:2; Rom. 3:20by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
17“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found #(1 John 3:8)sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19For I #Rom. 8:2through the law #(Rom. 6:2, 14; 7:4); 1 Cor. 9:20died to the law that I might #(Rom. 6:11)live to God. 20I have been #(Rom. 6:6; Gal. 5:24; 6:14)crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh #Rom. 6:8–11; 2 Cor. 5:15; (Eph. 2:4–6; Col. 3:1–4)I live by faith in the Son of God, #Is. 53:12; Eph. 5:2who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God; for #Heb. 7:11if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”