Galatians 2:11-21

Paul argues with Peter

11 But later, when Peter came to Antioch, I spoke against him. I told him clearly that he had done something wrong. 12 When he first arrived in Antioch, Peter had been eating meals with the Gentile believers there. Then James sent some Jewish believers from Jerusalem to Antioch. After those men had arrived, Peter started to keep himself separate from the Gentiles. He stopped eating meals with them. He was afraid of those Jews who wanted to circumcise the Gentile believers. 13 The other Jewish believers in Antioch also did what Peter did. They became hypocrites like him. Even Barnabas agreed and he copied their example.

14 But I could see that they were wrong to do this. They were not living in a way that agrees with God's true message. So, I spoke to Peter in front of all of them. I said to him, ‘You were born as a Jew, but you have been living like a Gentile. As a believer, you no longer obey all the Jewish rules. So you should not try to make Gentile believers obey those Jewish rules.’

15 We were born as Jewish people. We are not Gentiles who have never obeyed God's rules. 16 But we know that we do not become right with God because we obey his Law. A person only becomes right with God when they believe in Jesus Christ. And we, as Jewish believers, have believed in Christ Jesus. We have become right with God because we trust in what Christ has done. It is not because we obey God's Law that he accepts us. Nobody becomes right with God only because they obey the rules in God's Law.

17 So then, we Jews become right with God when we believe in Christ. That means that we no longer obey all the Jewish rules. But that does not mean that Christ causes us to do wrong things. Certainly, it does not mean that! 18 Instead, I would really be doing something wrong if I tried to obey all those rules again. I would be building again something that I had destroyed. That would really be against God's Law. 19 But God's Law showed me that I could never obey all its rules. So I became like a dead person, free from the authority of those rules. That means that I can now live to please God.

2:19God gave his Law to the Jews to help them to live as his own special people. But the Jews could never completely obey all those rules. Those rules could never make them completely right with God. People needed another way to become right with God. That other way is Christ's sacrifice on our behalf.

20 Christ died on the cross on my behalf. It is like I died there with him. So I do not live my own life any more. Instead, Christ lives in me. The life that I live now in my body, I live because I trust what he has done for me. He has loved me so much that he died on my behalf. 21 So, I do not refuse to accept the kind gift of God. If the rules of God's Law could make me right with him, then Christ would have died for no reason!