Studies Notes For Galatians

(Galatians 2)


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Galatians 2:1 –

Š      Paul went up again, to Jerusalem, with Barnabas and Titus.  This could be after the problems in Antioch (Acts 15:1-30).  That certainly fits the discussion in this context concerning Titus and circumcision (Galatians 2:3-5). 

o   Or, it could have been an earlier trip (Acts 11:27-30). 

o   Or, it could have been a trip we don’t have recorded in the Scriptures (cf. John 21:24-25).

Š      Barnabas and Paul were fellow laborers (Acts 9:27, Acts 11:22, Acts 12:25, Acts 13:1-4, etc.), but then had a contention amongst themselves (Acts 15:35-41).

o   When they had a “contention” it is interesting to note that the Greek word used there is used in Hebrews 10:24 as “provoke”.  That was the only other time that word is used in the New Testament.

o   Being contentious would have been wrong (Proverbs 26:21, Romans 2:8, and I Corinthians 11:16).

o   Paul’s problem with taking John (sir name Mark) was due to John’s earlier failure to continue in the work with them (Acts 13:13).

§  Such was an understandable objection.  Quitters aren’t dependable (Deuteronomy 1:22-28 and Luke 9:61-62).

§  Paul was a finisher (II Timothy 4:6-8).

§  If it is the same Mark, he changed (II Timothy 4:11).

Š      Titus was a worker with Paul (II Corinthians 8:23) and son of faith [so to speak] (Titus 1:4).


Galatians 2:2 –

Š      Paul’s work was guided by revelation through the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:5-12).  Jesus spoke to Paul too (Acts 18:8-11 and Acts 23:10-11).

Š      Paul went to Jerusalem and taught the same things he had taught among the Gentiles (Romans 1:16, Romans 3:30, I Corinthians 4:17, Galatians 1:6-12, Ephesians 4:5, Philippians 3:16, Colossians 1:5-6, II Peter 1:1, and Jude 1:3).

Š      Paul met with some using discretion.  Sometimes a private meeting is useful (Matthew 24:1-3, Luke 9:10, and Luke 10:22-24).

Š      Paul met privately with some so that the work he was doing would not be in vain (cf. Galatians 4:11 and I Thessalonians 3:5).  Think about it, many public meetings went bad (Acts 13:44-51, Acts 14:19-20, Acts 17:5-11, and Acts 21:27-31).

Š      The Jews worked hard in preventing the Gospel from being taught to some people (I Thessalonians 2:13-16).


Galatians 2:3 –

Š      Under the Law of Christ, Christians were not commanded to be circumcised (Acts 15:24). 

Š      Circumcision would not save or destroy one under Christ (Galatians 5:2-6, Galatians 5:11, and Galatians 6:15).


Galatians 2:4 –

Š      There were and always will be false brethren (Matthew 7:15-20, Matthew 26:14-16, John 12:1-6, Acts 20:28-31, Colossians 2:8, Colossians 2:18-23, I Timothy 1:19-20, II Timothy 2:14-18, II Timothy 4:10-17, and II Peter 2:1-3).

Š      They are sneaky (Ephesians 4:14, II Timothy 3:1-7, and Jude 1:4).

Š      Circumcision was an authorized liberty [choice] that one could make.  We can see that in Timothy so that he could teach among the Jews (Acts 16:1-4). 

o   One could choose to give up or take on certain liberties to have opportunity to teach in certain cultures (I Corinthians 9:19-27 and I Corinthians 10:24-33). 

o   This NEVER meant one could compromise the truth (Psalms 119:104, Proverbs 23:23, Proverbs 29:27, I Corinthians 10:16-21, Philippians 1:17, I Timothy 1:3-7, and II John 1:9-11).


Galatians 2:5 –

Š      Paul did not allow them to compel Titus to forgo his liberty not to be circumcised (Acts 15:1-2 and Colossians 2:1-4).

Š      When it comes to liberties, brethren can coexist with different practices if they can agree that they do not matter (Romans 14:1-3).  Once someone begins to teach against those liberties there can no longer be any level of forbearance (I Timothy 4:1-5).

Š      Unity must exist in all things (I Corinthians 1:10).  Agreeing that circumcision is a choice allows brethren to be unified though some may practice something others choose not to.

Š      Compromising in these things would have prevented the furtherance of the Gospel (cf. I Thessalonians 2:11-17).


Galatians 2:6 –

Š      The status of these men didn’t matter at all.  God is not a respecter of persons (II Chronicles 19:7, Job 34:19, Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, Ephesians 6:9, and I Peter 1:17).

Š      Who a person is or what status they hold should not alter how we teach them (Matthew 14:1-5 and James 2:1-9).

Š      Holding men’s persons in admiration is a sign of a false teacher (Jude 1:16; cf. Proverbs 28:21).


Galatians 2:7 –

Š      The circumcision is the Jews (Genesis 17:1-14, Leviticus 12:1-3, Acts 10:45, and Romans 3:1).  The uncircumcision is the Gentiles (Ephesians 2:11).

Š      Paul was sent to the Gentiles (Acts 22:20-21, Romans 11:13, and I Timothy 2:7), but not only to the Gentiles (Acts 13:43, Acts 17:10-11, Acts 17:16-17, Acts 18:4-8, and Acts 28:17-31).

Š      Peter preached to Jews, but not solely to the Jews (Acts 10:1-11:18).


Galatians 2:8 –

Š      It is the same God (I Corinthians 12:6) who worked the works of an Apostle through Peter (Acts 8:14-18) and Paul (Romans 15:18-19).

Š      The underlying point is that the same God is over both the work toward the Jews and the work toward the Gentiles (Romans 3:29).

Š      Furthermore, Peter and Paul were both chosen by Christ to be Apostles (Matthew 10:1-2 and I Timothy 1:1).


Galatians 2:9 –

Š      Before we even address this verse, remember that Paul did not seek out or need the approval of the Apostles for what he was doing (Galatians 1:15-17).

Š      Brethren, who are pillars, would be those who appear to be strong and part of the support structure of the church (Romans 15:1-3).  Apostles certainly fit that description (I Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 2:19-22). 

o   You can see this in Peter [Cephas] and James in one context (Acts 15:6-13).

o   John was visible in the early work of the Lord in the first century (Acts 3:1) as well as later through writing (John, I John, II John, III John, and Revelation).

o   Having reputable men can be dangerous, though not necessary wrong (Philippians 2:25-30), for people tend to seek to elevate men (Acts 14:8-18, I Corinthians 1:10-17, and I Corinthians 3:1-7).

o   It can also be dangerous for some men like to be elevated (Matthew 23:1-12, John 12:42-43, and III John 1:9-11).

o   Some Apostles once struggled with this problem (Matthew 20:20-28 and Mark 10:35-45).

Š      James, Cephas, and John had to see things in Paul and Barnabas before joining them in fellowship (I John 1:3-7) and bidding them Godspeed in their work (II John 1:9-11).

o   Caution must always be exercised when we have fellowship [participation; communion; partnership] with those claiming to be brethren (Proverbs 19:27, Galatians 5:7-9, and I John 4:1).

o   Godly fellowship is restricted (Psalms 26:4-5, Jeremiah 15:17, I Corinthians 10:16-21, II Corinthians 6:14-18, Ephesians 5:11, Philippians 1:27, and Revelation 2:14-16).

Š      The usage of the term “heathen” is a reference to any non-Jew.  In other words, this is in reference to Gentiles (Galatians 3:8; cf. Acts 15:14-17). 

Š      It should be noted that Paul was not behind the other Apostles, but he did not have a desire to stand out (II Corinthians 11:5-7).


Galatians 2:10 –

Š      Remember the poor (Acts 11:27-30, Romans 15:25-27, and II Corinthians 8:1-12, and James 2:14-17).


Galatians 2:11 –

Š      Whether one is an Apostle or not, if there is blame to be had they need to be confronted about it (Proverbs 27:5-6, Matthew 16:21-23, Luke 17:3-4, Acts 8:18-24, II Timothy 4:2, Titus 1:10-14, and Revelation 3:14-19).

Š      It should be noted that rebuke does work.  The requirement for a rebuking to be effective is not on the on rebuking, but on the hearer (Proverbs 9:8).

Š      Something else to consider here is that Paul did this to his face, in person, rather than in writing.  Face to face communication is more effective than any other means (Acts 15:36, Titus 1:5, II John 1:12, and III John 1:13-14).


Galatians 2:12 –

Š      At one time, Peter would eat with the Gentiles (Acts 11:1-3).

Š      Then a point came where Peter was giving preferential treatment to his Jewish brethren.  This is wrong (John 17:20-23, Romans 12:10, Romans 12:16, I Corinthians 12:25, II Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 4:1-6, Philippians 2:3, and James 2:1-9).

Š      His motivation was his fear of the Jews (Proverbs 29:25).  He should not have allowed the fear of men to move him (Psalms 118:6 and Hebrews 13:6).  This is the “old Peter” showing back up (Matthew 26:69-75).

Š      This behavior creates a sinful, carnal, party spirit sect [heresies] (Galatians 5:19-21).


Galatians 2:13 –

Š      Peter’s error spread to others because sinful behavior is contagious (Genesis 3:1-6, I Kings 12:26-30, Proverbs 1:10-19, Proverbs 13:20, Ezekiel 13:22, Acts 7:51, I Corinthians 5:6-7, I Corinthians 15:33, Galatians 5:9, and Revelation 2:20-23).

Š      They were carried away with dissimulation [hypocrisy; Strong’s # 5272].  Hypocrisy is dangerous (Proverbs 11:9 and Matthew 23:13) and obviously sinful (Job 13:16, Isaiah 32:6, and Matthew 23:28).

Š      Sadly, this hypocrisy of Peter hurts him as an Apostle and teacher of the truth (Matthew 7:1-5 and Romans 2:1-29).

Š      Jesus previously warned the disciples against such sinful actions as Peter now was spreading (Luke 12:1-3).


Galatians 2:14 –

Š      Walking uprightly (Psalms 15:1-4, Proverbs 2:6-7, Proverbs 10:9, Proverbs 28:18, and I John 2:1-6).

Š      According to the truth (I Kings 3:6, I Kings 9:4, Psalms 86:11, I John 1:6-7, and III John 1:4).

Š      He rebuked Peter publically, before them all (Leviticus 19:17 and I Timothy 5:20).

Š      He exposed Peter’s hypocrisy before them all as he was a Jew living as a Gentile but then telling the Gentiles to live as Jews.  Peter knew better (Acts 10:28).  This was just an outward show (Galatians 6:12).

Galatians 2:15 –

Š      Jews by nature (John 8:33; cf. Genesis 17:1-12).

Š      “Sinners of the Gentiles” is in reference to the Old Law perspective of Gentiles (Ephesians 2:11-12).

Š      Fact is though, all were sinners under the law (Romans 3:9-23).

Š      Fact is, all are Abraham’s seed now by faith and obedience (Romans 3:29 and Galatians 3:26-29; cf. Colossians 2:12-14).


Galatians 2:16 –

Š      Not justified by works of the Law of Moses (Acts 13:38-39, Romans 3:20, Galatians 3:10-13, Galatians 5:4, and Titus 3:5-7).

Š      By faith of Christ (Romans 4:13, Romans 5:1-2, and Philippians 3:3-9), though clearly not by faith only (James 2:14-26).

Š      One cannot read Hebrews 9:15-10:22 and miss the fact that Jesus did what the Law of Moses never could.


Galatians 2:17 –

Š      Peter’s error provided a great time for Paul to show that you cannot seek justification through Christ while continuing to sin (John 8:1-11, Romans 6:1-13, I Corinthians 15:34, II Corinthians 7:1, II Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 1:4, II Timothy 2:19, and Titus 2:11-14).


Galatians 2:18 –

Š      You cannot go back to the things you left behind (Proverbs 26:11, Luke 9:57-62, II Timothy 4:10, Hebrews 10:38-39, and II Peter 2:20-22).


Galatians 2:19 –

Š      Even the Law of Moses said that it would pass (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

Š      Had to become dead to the Law of Moses to live unto God (Romans 6:11-14 and Romans 7:4).

Š      Simply explained, you had to die to the Law because the strength of salvation came through Christ rather than the Law.  Now in Christ they were spiritually alive rather than bound to a carnal law (Romans 8:1-13).


Galatians 2:20 –

Š      Crucified with Christ (Romans 6:3-8 and Galatians 5:24).

Š      Alive yet in a way dead (Romans 6:11, Ephesians 2:1-6, and Colossians 3:1-4).

Š      Christ living in me (John 14:20, II Corinthians 4:10-11, II Corinthians 5:15, Ephesians 3:17, Colossians 1:27, and II John 1:9).

Š      Live by faith (Romans 1:17, II Corinthians 5:7, and Hebrews 11:6).

Š      Christ loved (Ephesians 5:2 and Ephesians 5:25) and gave Himself for us (John 10:17-18).

Š      Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16, John 6:69, and I John 4:9-14).


Galatians 2:21 –

Š      Frustrate [reject; Strong’s #114] the grace of God (Hebrews 12:15). 

o   The same Greek word is translated “reject” (Mark 6:26 and Mark 7:9).

o   The same Greek word is translated “rejected” (Luke 7:30).

o   The same Greek word is translated “despiseth” (Mark 10:16 and I Thessalonians 4:8).

o   The same Greek word is translated “rejecteth” (John 12:48).

o   The same Greek word is translated “nothing” (I Corinthians 1:19).

o   The same Greek word is translated “disannulleth” (Galatians 3:15).

o   The same Greek word is translated “cast off” (I Timothy 5:12).

o   The same Greek word is translated “despised” (Hebrews 10:28).

o   The same Greek word is translated “despise” (Jude 1:8).

Š      If the Law can bring about righteousness, Christ died in vain (Hebrews 7:11).

o   Jesus died, in part, so that we could become righteous (I Peter 2:24).

o   If we could be righteous under the Law, then He would not have had to die.  The problem with the idea of righteousness by the law is that righteousness could not be sustained by the Law (Galatians 3:21-24).

Š      The Law of Moses ended so righteousness could come about (Romans 10:4).

Š      The truth is, righteousness came by and through Christ (Romans 3:22, Romans 5:17, Romans 5:21, I Corinthians 1:30, and Philippians 1:11).

Š      You cannot have grace and cling to the Law of Moses (Galatians 5:4).  



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