I heard, “What you see is already a past season!”
It is a moment to be resolute in looking above. Christ our life, Christ our all is the way out of the entwined circumstances.
Yes, gleanings from the Book of Galatians. What establishes us in the Faith is a deeper revelation of Scripture. The Book of Galatians is full of The Revelation of The LORD.
We saw in our last discussion that God accepts no man’s person, that we are only accepted in Christ Jesus. This is why we are all equal in the eyes of God.
The Apostle Paul now begins to open up something a little staggering in his encounter with the Peter the Apostle, who had been with The LORD physically, and was before him in The LORD. He says;
“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed,” Galatians 2:11.
Paul withstanding Peter? This Peter, of whom Paul wrote earlier that, “he seemed to a pillar of The Gospel,” (Galatians 2:9).
And Peter to be blamed? How can Paul come from behind, and withstand the one to whom Jesus said, to feed his flock?
A lot of people think The Gospel should always be preached as though we are petting people. The Gospel is The Power of God unto salvation.
It does not matter who is preaching it, if it is wrongly delivered, it has the capacity to ruin the life of a Christian. This is why Paul wouldn’t allow anything against the The Gospel, even from Peter.
Matters of The Gospel are not to be taken lightly. In today’s mentality, this will be viewed as arrogance, since most people put little value on The Word, but a higher value on personalities.
Now why was Peter to be blamed?
“For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation,”Galatians 2:12-13.
It was all a matter of The Law and Grace. Peter knew he was saved by Grace and not by the observation of the Jewish Law, yet “FOR FEAR OF MEN” deprived him of the freedom in Christ, as though salvation were by works.
Peter was observing The Law before the Gentiles, to make himself somewhat more special before others. Fear of being criticized was rather a ‘promotion of self’. This is why we must be ready to be persecuted, criticized by religious people, if we must enjoy the freedom in Christ.
Paul became vexed in The Spirit. He knew that not even the Apostles had any special standing with God, apart from The Grace of Christ.
“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?””Galatians 2:14.
Observe carefully the first sentence, “I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the Truth of The Gospel….”
Firstly, they were living a lifestyle of lies. They were actually not in the Truth of The Gospel. Their lifestyle was actually fighting against The Gospel. This is the Apostle Peter, leading people away from The Grace of Christ.
And look at Paul’s response;
“…..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?”” Galatians 2:14b.
Before them all, not hidden, Paul spoke. Now he explains the truth about Peter’s life. Peter, a Jew, “live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews….”
Wow, this speaks volumes. The Jews were given The Law, the Gentiles never had The Law. The Gentile never knew what The Law was, because it was never given to them.
What was taken to the Gentiles was not Moses, but Jesus. They were not given The Law to be saved by it, but they were offered Jesus and they accepted Jesus and looked to His Grace — without any Jewish Law.
Peter was living like the Gentiles. He was not living under The Law, but now he was compelling others to live under the Jewish Law.
This is what is happening in our pulpits today……
A lot of people preach another Gospel which is actually not gospel — ‘the works message’ — but yet they themselves don’t practice The Law! They preach works, but don’t measure up to God’s standard, yet they make it look as though others must be perfect through works.
I had some elders in a Church call me and sit me down, advising me that The Gospel of Grace is for the matured Christians as though they are two kinds of Gospels! This was the mistake of Peter, to which we can all see the Apostle Paul addressing.
You can’t live by Grace and preach works to others — that Grace is for matured Christians! You can’t compel others to live under works, why you live in The Grace of God. This is demonic! God accepts no man’s person.
What makes you think God can accept your living by Grace, and others by works?
Without The Gospel of Grace, we all remain infants in Christ. What actually brings us to maturity is The Grace Christ and NOT The Law. What builds us up and gives us the inheritance, is The Grace of Christ and not works;
“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Hence depriving anyone of the word his grace is depriving them of their inheritance,” Acts 20:32.
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified,”Galatians 2:16.
O this is rich, the Apostle now tells Peter that he knows that a man is not justified by the works of The Law, but by The Faith of Jesus!
Then the Apostle goes on to say, “even we”have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by The Faith of Christ.
The Apostle puts no demarcation as many put today. He says even we the Apostles, we stand by Faith in the finished work of Christ and nothing else. Hence, there is no need depriving anyone of his inheritance in Christ.
Then he says, “For by the works of The Law — there shall no flesh be justified,” (Romans 3:20).
He says ‘no flesh‘. As long as we are flesh, no flesh. Black flesh, red flesh, white flesh any kind of flesh cannot be justified before God by works. But there is a way out. We all are eternally justified, by Faith in Christ Jesus!
Have a confident expectation of good. You may not be qualified before men, but God has justified you, qualifying you for the inheritance.
We will continue tomorrow…
In an encounter with The LORD I heard, “You will now become very fruitful…”
When I heard this, the sense surrounding it was of someone who has toiled for long, but now it seems as though things are not advancing at the desired pace. You have been asking questions.
The LORD spoke and said, “What you see is already a past season. Be strong and courageous, for I have blessed you and you will now become very fruitful….”
“And The LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which The LORD swore unto thy fathers to give thee,”Deuteronomy 28:11.
Blessings in Christ,
~ Pastor Jahfas Victor Ahua
Living Hill Christian Church.
Pastor Jahfas Victor Ahua is the founder and lead pastor of Living Hill Christian Church headquartered in Nigeria, which has a vision to restore the earth with The Gospel of God’s grace. Called to be a pastor, he functions in the Healing/ Prophetic/ Teaching/ Music and Writing Ministries. He releases Prophetic Words to encourage the body of Christ on the Church’s blog.