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Obviously being triggered by Peters actions, Paul confronts him by pointing to him in no uncertain terms that his double standard actions....

By Ernest Kobby BaahPublished about a month ago 3 min read

Paul In Galatians 2:20-21 highlights the possibility of a believer having the ability to frustrate the grace of God. What exactly was Paul attempting to explore ? Was he intimating that a believer singlehandedly had the proclivity to distort Gods operations? What precisely was his point ?

A bit of clarity is seen when we begin to observe portions of the preceding texts in the same chapter in question. The genesis of Paul’s assertion on frustrating Gods Grace immediately becomes evident when we see and note his supposed stand off with his beloved brother in the faith Peter in Galatians 2:11-17. Peter, an astute Jewish man by all standards in the company of Paul and other gentile believers in Antioch would find no issue hobnobbing and fraternizing freely without restrain as long as other Christians who were Jewish to the core were not present. The moment Jewish Christians came around, Peter suddenly became reclusive, fearing what they would perceive of him. In fact his actions were so strong and convincing that Paul recounts that even his right hand man Banabas was easily swayed by Peters double standard approach.

Obviously being triggered by Peters actions, Paul confronts him by pointing to him in no uncertain terms that his double standard actions were not a true representation of the gospel of Christ committed to them. Paul explains the absurdity on the path of anyone much less Peter, who though being a Jew was a practicing Christian who understood the liberties of the faith that trampled over every legalistic Jewish requirement would himself expect and require other gentile believers to subject themselves to Jewish conduct in order for them to make meaning of their own salvation. Clearly to Paul this was absolutely preposterous to say the least.

In simple terms what he was saying was that if you as legalistic Jews from your mothers womb did not have to obey any laws in order to be saved except to believe in Jesus Christ how does one compel non Jewish believers to believe that their salvation has no substance until they begin to practice and worship as Jews.

Paul uses this rational and reasonable premise to usher in his argument on the subject of works, faith and grace. He continues to explain in Galatians 2:16 ;"knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."Paul makes it clear to his audience that our works, as religious and pious as they may be do not have the requisite capacity and endurance to either save or clear us from the judgement that we so rightfully deserve. He posits that it is our faith in Christ Jesus that fairly and justly grants to us the divine allocations of His grace that makes us appeasing to Him.

Paul further elucidates his position by emphasizing that by trying to employ the culture of works and traditions over faith in Christ Jesus, we go back to building the very things that were destroyed in our lives the moment we decided to follow Jesus( Galatians 2:18) and that he categorizes as a total waste of time and effort. No works nor tradition based religion has what it takes to save us. It is our attempt to over do, out do and outshine the finished work of Christ through our own conceived efforts that Paul terms as frustrating the grace of God. When we try to set aside the allocations of Gods Grace so that we can pursue our own way by our own strength we short change ourselves of the full implications of Gods unmerited ever stretching grace. Our righteousness is of His doing and not of ours, we are because He is.

"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."Galatians 2:21 KJV

self help

About the Creator

Ernest Kobby Baah

I’m a firm believer in what the message of the cross can immensely accomplish in an individuals life if he or she is willing to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  • Emmanuel Kpakpoeabout a month ago

    Spick and span...well delivered snr . More grace

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