ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 181

G alatia n s
as their co-workers. They encouraged us to keep preaching to the Gentiles,
while they continued their work with the Jews. Their only suggestion was
that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do.
But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what
he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of
James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid
of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and
even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have
discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now
trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions?
“You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. Yet we know
that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made
right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed
the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ
and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would
that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! Rather, I am a sinner
if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. For when I tried to
keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to
meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has
been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me
and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless.
For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no
need for Christ to die.
Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning
of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture
of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive
the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received
the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How
foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you
now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?

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