Faith Alone Saves
Paul recounts his second journey to Jerusalem to meet the esteemed leaders of the church and how his work among the gentiles got the stamp of approval of James, Peter and John. The second portion of this passage describes how Paul accosted Peter when the latter reverted to following the laws when in the company of the pro circumcision group although he had been living with the gentiles as they did, prior to the arrival of the radical Jews.
What do we see here? Some good old double standards. A faltering in the journey of faith. A what if moment. "What if circumcision and the other laws really do count towards my salvation? I shouldn't take a chance". Or maybe it was the "what will they think" moment. In either case, it was not aligned to God's will. And Paul called out Peter's flaw to his face. He corrected a fellow believer.
There are several lessons for us here.
1. We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ, not by works of the law.
2. When we receive Christ we must die to the world and let Christ live in us. In short, Christ gets an opportunity to spread his gospel through our bodies. We must allow for him to do that, for him to live in us.
3. When we die to the world, we are not to put our efforts into pleasing people and reacting to our "what will they think" instincts.
Jesus Christ, please come live in me, amen.