When Paul Withstood Peter to His Face: “No Return to the Law, Righteousness in Christ Alone,” and an Excerpt from My New Book

The above image contains an excerpt from my book, The Infamously Prickly Thorn in Paul’s Flesh.

Rereading it today reminded me of when Paul withstood Peter to his face. Why? For getting into self-righteousness instead of righteousness in Christ alone: by grace through faith, a free gift from God, NOT of works, lest anyone should boast.

Glory to God, we don’t earn our way toward receiving the promises of God, including the bodily healing that is included in the atonement.

There’s no righteousness in our flesh, not one dot. But in Christ, we are the very righteousness of God. Good news indeed! We are totally dependent upon Him, His Word, and Spirit to be transformed from glory to glory, becoming more life Jesus.

Let’s read from Galatians 2:11-12…

Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh 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 comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

We are blessed to live in the time the Old Testament saints waited for, the time of Christ, and a new and better covenant.

Hallelujah! All glory and honor and praise unto Him who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb!

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