Millions of people believe Christ died needlessly. If Eternal Life is awarded on works, and “righteousness come through the Law”, then Christ died needlessly, Galatians 2:21. So Paul concludes in Sunday’s passage.
Upon first reading this passage, you might think Paul threw Peter under the bus. But it was not personal. It was theological! What you have here is the biblical equivalent of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral.
Following Paul’s second trip to Jerusalem, 2:1-10, Peter visits Antioch. Things are fine until you guessed it the good ole Judaizers, like snakes slide and slither into town. No doubt they saw Peter putting away a full slab of baby backs with a band of Gentile brothers and called him out on it. I can hear them now, “And you call yourself a Jew? What kind of Jew violates the Law of Moses?”
Peter double clutches the doctrine of Grace and jumps back into the legalism line.
Time for a shootout! Paul calls out Peter. He tells him to meet him in the streets of Antioch at high noon.
At stake was the TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL. This was A showdown Paul would never shy away from. This passage lays down like this.
THE CONFRONTATION OF PETER, 2:11-24
THE CONTENTION OF PAUL, 2:15-21
Today, we need more Gospel Gunfighters! Men and women who can “earnestly contend for the faith,” Jude 3. Join us this Sunday and learn how Paul did it. And then go and do likewise.