Conflict in the Community

Key Verse: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
—Galatians 3:28

Selected Scripture:
Galatians 2:11 – 3:29

WHILE MINISTERING TO Gentiles in Antioch, Paul found it necessary to reprove Peter, thereby further asserting his own apostolic authority concerning the Gospel of Christ.—Gal. 2:11-13

When Peter first came to Antioch, he freely ate with Christian converts who formerly were Gentiles. Subsequently, a group of Jewish Christians came from Jerusalem for a visit, and when they arrived, Peter ceased to fellowship with the Gentile brethren for fear that news of his conduct would get back to Jerusalem. Additionally, Barnabas and others followed Peter’s example. Peter well knew, in connection with the conversion of Cornelius, that God was not a respecter of persons.

Paul, appropriately, accused Peter of hypocrisy by pointing out that Jewish Christians had a new standing on the basis of faith in the redemptive sacrifice of Christ and that they were dead to the Law. Accordingly, since the Law could not justify anyone, Gentiles should not be placed under it.—vss. 14-21

“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1) This cardinal principle concerning the means by which believers may have a relationship with God had to be stressed repeatedly in the Early Church because of the strong influence of Judaizers who believed and taught otherwise.

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.”—Gal. 3:1-4

Since all men were under the curse of sin and death from Adam’s fall in Eden, none could gain life by attempting to keep the Law. However, Abraham and other faithful individuals before the Gospel Age pleased God because they trusted in him. The seed of Abraham, through whom mankind would be blessed, was spiritual in nature and referred to Christ.—vss. 6-16

The purpose of the Mosaic Law was to make the Israelites aware of their inability to live without sin and also to prepare them to receive Christ as their Savior who, being perfect, gave his life as a ransom for all and purchased mankind from its sinful condition.—vss. 19-26

Our Key Verse indicates that all who have accepted Christ as their Redeemer through baptism into his death are counted as part of his body, and distinctions based upon gender, national origin, or other distinguishing human traits would not be obstacles to their complete union with Christ.

“If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (vs. 29) How wonderful it is to realize that faithful, devoted believers will be included as part of Abraham’s seed to bless all mankind.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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