DAY 4

READ GALATIANS 2:11-13 

(Extra reading: Galatians 2:6-10)

IT CAN HAPPEN TO ME

If it could happen to Peter, it can happen to you! It can happen to me! It can happen to any Christian! Sometimes when we read the Bible, it can be all to easy for us to look at an account such as this one with Peter and then consider ourselves mature enough to not make the same mistake. This is why humility and teachability is vital. It is impossible to keep growing in Christ if we think we have arrived. Now, let’s consider what happened to Peter. When the Holy Spirit came upon Peter in Acts 2, this man who had denied Jesus for fear of the people around him now boldly and courageously preached the Gospel and 3000 people were saved. Not long after, he says to the local authorities who are wanting to shut him down, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.” (Acts 4:19)
This extreme boldness that Peter had in the Gospel seemed to disappear when he went to Antioch. Peter now wasn’t really very Jewish anymore. He was eating food that was forbidden in Jewish law, together with other Gentile Christians. But then certain men came from the Jerusalem church and Peter got worried about what they would say about him to the leaders back at home. He compromised the Gospel and others joined in with him in hypocrisy.

FOUR THINGS TO TAKE NOTE OF:

1. Paul uses incredibly strong language towards Peter because this is about defending the Gospel. He is defending the Gospel against legalism.
    2. Peter gave in to the fear of man. Fear of man is a terrible thing. He became afraid of the legalists that came from Jerusalem. Legalists can be frightening. Even strong men can become afraid of them. These kinds of people will threaten you with the judgement of God, slander you and accuse you of all sorts of things, including misrepresenting God.
      3. Peter was happy to give in to a little compromise. Paul was not prepared to compromise the Gospel in any way. He recognised this little compromise carried much larger ramifications and implications.

        4. Paul didn’t put friendship above the Gospel. The Gospel is worth defending no matter how friendly you are with the one doing the compromising.

        QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON:

          1. Do you realise that anyone can be carried away in compromise and hypocrisy, even you?

          2. The fear of man is a real thing and legalists can be frightening. How are you doing in this area?

          3. Are you willing to stay free in the truth of the Gospel no matter the cost?