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Book of Galatians Galatians Bible Study Series - Joel H. Linton

Week 6

Galatians 2:11-16

Preface: Read together out loud... Galatians 1:8

Last week, in the passage in Acts 15, we read how Peter testified that God accepts the Gentiles. Paul also tells the Galatians 2:9 that Peter handed Paul the "right hand of fellowship." This happened in Jerusalem.

Later Peter came to visit the church in Antioch where Paul and Barnabas were serving.

1. When Peter came to Antioch, initially what was his behavior like towards the Gentiles?

vs. 12 (a: eating with them... spending time with them...)

Was this consitent with his preaching?

2. What changed about Peter's behavior?

vs. 12 (a: he drew away from the Gentiles... did not associate with them)

Why?

vs. 12 (a: when certain men arrived... ^”afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.)

3. How was Peter's behavior and attitude different from Paul's attitude in Galatians 1:10?

(a: Paul is not trying to please men... but to serve Christ... Peter at this point was more concerned about pleasing men than serving Christ.)

4. What kind of Gospel was Peter preaching by the way he acted?

(a: different gospel... you must become a Jew ... Faith in Jesus not enough.)

5. What were the serious consequences of Peter's behavior?

vs. 13 (a: "even Barnabas was led astray" people became confused about the truth of the Gospel...)

Who was Barnabas? (a: His name means "The Son of Encouragement." He was the one who first accepted Paul, when every other Christian was afraid of Paul. He also was the one who went on the missionary journeys with Paul preaching to the Gentiles. You would think he would be the least likely person to be affected.)

6. Have you ever acted in a way that preached something different than what you were preaching with your words? Share with each other some examples of the type of things Christians can do.

(e.g.

    say: God is all I need... but you get really angry when you lose something else...
    say: What would Jesus do? ... but you don^“t really spend any time to learn more about him and read the Bible on your own...
    say: I trust in Jesus for my salvation... but you feel proud of yourself if you think you are doing better than others....
    say: Love one another... but the person who is unpleasant or annoys you... makes you want to avoid that person... or gossip about them...
    etc.)

Have you ever been so influenced by another Christian/teacher... that you were content to listen to them and follow them without actually testing what they teach with what the Bible says?

7. The issue for Paul is not only what you are preaching with you mouth, but how does the truth of the Gospel affect your whole life?

Discuss....

8. Peter was "not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel" and others were being led astray into that hypocrisy. What measures did Paul take to deal with the problem?

vs. 11 "opposed him to his face" vs. 14 publicly confronted the situation

9. Read Matthew 18:15-17

If someone sins agains you, what is the first thing you should do? --- privately show him his fault...

How is the situation in Matthew 18 different from the situation where Paul confronted and rebuked Peter and showed him his fault publicly?

Peter was a leader of the church. Peter was not sinning against an individual, but publicly sinning against many people. Many people were also being led astray by his behavior. The offense had to be dealt with publicly. Paul was speaking with Apostolic authority.

(In church situations today, ideally, as the shepherds of the church, the elders of the church should be the first ones to to confront publicly this kinds of offenses.)

10. In many cultures, people do not like to confront people "to their faces" like Paul did Peter. Paul was very direct.

Discuss how each of you feel about openly confronting other Christians.

11. Why was it so important for Paul to confront Peter in the situation we read about?

(a: essential issue of the Gospel... others being led astray... including leaders of the churches etc.)

12. How does Paul summarize the heart of the Gospel in vs. 15-16?

Think of some areas where your whole life would be affected by this truth. What would it look like if you were acting in line with the truth of the Gospel?


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