Why Did Paul Oppose Peter?

Pic quote Galatians 3

Did you know the Apostle Paul once rebuked the Apostle Peter?  Yes, Paul opposed him to his face.  I have been doing the same thing this week with those believers who are acting like legalistic Pharisees and warping God’s Word to make people think they can lose their salvation.  They are confused about the difference between salvation and sanctification.  The one believer thinks the good works she is doing since accepting Christ are being done by her and she should get the glory as if God owes her something.  We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and it is the Holy Spirit inside of us (which we receive upon receiving Jesus by faith) that does the sanctifying work of righteousness in our hearts.  We are not saved by works and any good works we do are done through the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory and praise of God!  Good works don’t save us and they are definitely not done to glorify us!

Here is the argument Paul had with Peter where Paul had to set him straight for acting legalistic.

“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.  Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles.  But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belong to the circumcision group.  The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew.  How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

“We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.  So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin?  Absolutely not!  If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker.  For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Galatians 2:11-21

Is Paul preaching a false gospel of “cheap grace” as the false preaching blogger keeps calling it on her blog?  No!  Was Paul a false preacher?  No!  Paul is not telling people to go off and live sinful lives after they accept Christ!  Of course we live for righteousness after accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior!  He died, so that we might live for righteousness and do God’s will!  And what is God’s will that makes us righteous?  His will is to believe in His one and only Son Jesus Christ!  It is our faith in Jesus that saves us and makes us righteous!  Not our own works.  Paul is speaking about salvation and he is very clear that we are only saved through faith in Jesus Christ!

Paul continues in chapter 3 of Galatians:

“You foolish Galatians!  Who has bewitched you?  Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.  I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?  Are you so foolish?  After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?  Have you suffered so much for nothing–if it really was for nothing?  Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?”

Galatians 3:1-5

Paul had to rebuke Peter to his face because he fell into the trap of self-righteousness and legalism.  Paul had to remind Peter that we are justified through faith in Jesus Christ alone.  I am doing the same thing with the blogger who is falsely preaching that a person can lose their salvation and I rebuked her and I am rebuking her now.  Stop pretending like any righteous works you do are done through you and your strength!  You will never be righteous on your own!  You are only redeemed and declared righteous by God through faith in Jesus Christ.  How can you not understand that, yet call yourself a believer in Jesus Christ?

Consider what Paul wrote in Romans:

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.  Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.  He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith.  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”

Romans 3:19-28

We only live a righteous life by the power of the Holy Spirit and you cannot take any credit for the righteous works you do.  We are utterly sinful and it is only the atoning blood of Jesus Christ that washes all our sins away!  It is Jesus who saves and sanctifies us, which means He makes us holy, not our own works!

“And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

1 Corinthians 6:11

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”

Ephesians 1:13-14

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

Those are the Apostle Paul’s words in God’s Word spoken by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Those are not my words.  Am I preaching a gospel other than the one Paul preached?  No, I am not, it is the same gospel!  Our salvation is guaranteed through our faith in Jesus Christ and God put His seal of ownership on us in the Holy Spirit, which is a deposit that guarantees our inheritance in Heaven!  There is nothing you can add to that or take away.  If you want to listen to some lady who preaches lies and argues with Jesus, Paul and the rest of God’s Word that teaches we are only saved by grace through faith in Jesus, go ahead, but I am not going to.  I will rebuke her though and defend God’s Word.

Let’s listen to how Paul begins his letter to the Galatians warning them of false preachers who are perverting the gospel of Christ:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–which is really no gospel at all.  Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!  As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:6-10

No, I am not out here trying to please men either!  I serve God with a full heart and I want to please Him and do His will!  I am out here preaching the true Gospel of Christ, sharing my testimony, and defending God’s Word!  And what is the Gospel of Christ that Paul preached?  It is real simple folks and it takes faith to believe it and that is the only Way any of us can be saved.  Here it is:

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:9-13

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jesus speaking in John 6:38-40

We are sanctified and made righteous by the power of the Holy Spirit!  Doing God’s will regarding your salvation means to believe in Jesus Christ!  Any good works we do after accepting Christ are done by His power and for His glory alone!  We don’t get glory for doing good works and God doesn’t owe us anything!  I rebuke that false preaching blogger in the Name of Jesus!  She twists God’s Word and has a serious misunderstanding of Scripture while she tells people that those who preach saved by grace through faith in Jesus are wrong.  Totally nuts and totally against God’s Word!  Again, read her posts if you want to.  Her post from today got re-blogged, which shocked me since she preached the same losing salvation lie yet again today!  I don’t understand why anyone would re-blog a post like that!  If you “like” it or “re-blog” it, that means you stand with it.  I don’t stand with anyone who preaches the false doctrine of losing salvation.  Jesus Christ finished it at the cross (John 19:30)!

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?”

Romans 11:35

We are not justified by works, so don’t act like you are working for your salvation as if God must repay you for it.  Legalism makes people slaves to fear and we did not receive a Spirit of fear!  God’s perfect love drives out fear and we can trust Him when He says we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ!

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:18

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

2 Timothy 1:7

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

2 Timothy 2:1

Be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ and my advice is to stay away from people who preach lies which lead you into the bondage of fear again.  It is for freedom that Christ has set you free and we can trust Him for our salvation with all of our hearts!

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1

Go read the words of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and see what He has to say about how to get to Heaven and how your salvation is secure through faith in Him.  That is my number 1 job.  To point you to Jesus!  Not to make people slaves again to fear!  Again, I rebuke that false preaching blogger and her arrogance towards God.  Stop telling people they can lose their salvation!  You do not understand God’s Word and you are grossly misusing Scripture.  Repent, and turn away from perverting the Gospel of Christ!  There is only one Gospel message and that is we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  His atoning sacrifice on that cross fully paid for the sins of all mankind through His Holy Blood.  Thinking you can earn your way to Heaven before or after accepting Jesus Christ is the height of arrogance towards God!

I leave you with the words of Jesus.  Grace and peace to you all in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ!

Pic quote Words of Jesus

Author: Ryan Callahan

Hello, and welcome to my site! I am an independent Christian author (One Man's Very Strange Supernatural Life), blogger, and evangelist for Jesus. My main goal with this blog is to help people come to know Jesus, help people understand the Bible, and to minister to a lost and hurting world. This site is about hope, new beginnings, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love! I'm glad you are here, God bless you! Copyright © 2023 Ryan Callahan. All rights reserved.

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