Good morning! Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Galatians 1v3-5)
Today we are going to discuss God's definition of oppose.
Galatians 2v11 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.
If we know Paul and Peter we know they both are apostles of Jesus Christ, they have seen Him in person, and we know they both love the Lord and through Him they love each other. If we know Peter we know he has a weakness to follow people and their desires before having faith in Jesus Christ and His love guiding Him with His desires through the Holy Spirit. Paul however wrong he was in wanting every follower of Jesus Christ dead before He was touched by our Lord, has been forgiven of that horrible wrong and has not left the love of Jesus Christ he received from His forgiveness since that day. These are the two identities we are discussing in this message given to us by God to meditate on. Paul writes to the Galatians church about this encounter with Peter for the same reason God wants Him to share it with us, for receiving more knowledge of who Jesus Christ is. Paul tells them and us that God does not judge by external appearances. He is talking about people that believe they are important in the"religious world" that work hard at living by the law, work hard at working for the Lord, work hard at loving people and are very important in the "religious world" but have no faith in Jesus Christ, their lives show they do not know Him as their Savior. Peter was anointed by God through the apostles to preach to the Jews as was Paul to the Gentiles once they recognized the grace given to him by Jesus Christ. The first word that was revealed to me was recognized the grace given to him. This means they know the grace of God first, before it can be recognized as grace in someone else. This means Paul's faith in Jesus Christ being His Lord and Savior went in line with Paul's rebirth, His nature had changed by his words and deeds, and the power of God's grace worked many miracles through Paul's words and deeds in those that believed. This is how they recognized the grace of God was given to him. Now that we know each identity of each person we know Peter can be lead away from God by setting a side the grace of God by works or following people that seam higher through their reputation of their own works. It is natural for us to admire people that work hard for God but Paul tells us if we are seeking to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are all sinners, this does not mean Christ promotes sin. It means Christ reveals our own nature and we can not rebuild our own nature, that will only prove we are believing wrong and we will keep doing wrong. (Galatians 2v18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. v19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.) We do not observe ourselves or others by our natural sight of doing right, we live by faith in Jesus Christ making us who we are, not by our sight, or the worlds sight. If we have been crucified by Christ we longer live, but Christ lives in us. We are setting aside the grace of God when we are afraid of people or afraid of being led by faith not by sight of our own understanding in who we are making ourselves to be, like Peter. Is our lives speaking the truth and following the truth because we have been reborn by the grace of God because we live by faith in hearing the truth of Jesus Christ and do not ever want to leave His grace we have received, like Paul? Do Christians live among us today that love others enough to oppose others that are setting aside the grace of God? Our families that are clearly in the wrong, do we oppose them so they too can be brought back on the right path? Our church family do we love them enough through Christ to oppose them when they are clearly in the wrong, so they too can be brought back on the right path led by the grace of God? Paul goes on and tells the Galatians how foolish they are and ask them questions, the same questions we need to ask other followers of Christ in our world he has given us to feed. The first question is, Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or believing what you heard? The second and third, 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? The last question, Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? The righteous will live by faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior for Him to give us all we need for this life. Paul opposed Peter because Peter was being foolish and drifting back to faith in himself and loving others through himself. Paul opposed Peter for His own benefit, because God was loving Peter through Paul. God brought Peter back to Himself through Paul and Peter kept the faith. (1 Peter 5v10 And God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong firm and steadfast. v11 To him be the power for ever and ever Amen.)