D c 1-3. Agreement. d 4,5. Opposition. c 6-10. Agreement. d 11-14. Opposition.
1 Then fourteen years (i.e. after his conversion. Cp Acts 16:1&c.) after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus also with me. (See Acts 12:25. Titus was one of the "certain other" of Acts 15:2. This was the 3rd visit, the 2nd being that of Acts 11:29,30; 12:25.)
2 And I went up according to revelation (the decision of Acts 15:2 was Divinely guided), and communicated (see Acts 25:14 [declared]) to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately (see Acts 25:19) to them which were (lit. who seemed) of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, for no effect. (Cp. 2 Cor. 6:1)
3 But not even Titus, who was with me, though being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
4 And that because of false brethren (see 2 Cor. 11:26) , who came in privily (see Rom. 5:20) to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order that they might bring us into bondage: (See 2 Cr. 11:20.)
5 To whom we yielded by subjection (see 2 Cor. 9:15), not even for an hour; that the truth of the gospel (Cp. Col. 1:5,6) might continue with you. (See Luke 1:22; 22:28. Heb. 1:11. 2 Pet. 3:4.)
6 But from these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they once were, it matters nothing to me: God accepts no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision I have been entrusted with, even as Peter [with that] of circumcision;
8 (For he that wrought effectually by Peter (see Rom. 7:5) to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me also toward the Gentiles:)
9 And when James (see 1:19), Cephas, and John (the only mention of him in Paul's epistles), who seemed to be pillars (1 Tim. 3:15. Rev. 3:12; 10:1. Applied by the Jews to teachers of the Law), perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go to the heathen, and they to the circumcision.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor (the Lord's poor. See John 12:8); the same which I also was zealous to do. (See Eph. 4:3. 1 Thess. 2:17. 2 Tim. 2:15; 4:9,21. Tit. 3:12. Heb. 4:11. 2 Pet. 1:10,15; 3:14)
11 But when Peter came to Antioch (this must have followed the council of Acts 15, and preceded the dispute of Acts 15:36-40), I withstood him against the face, because he was to be condemned.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles (see Acts 10:41): but when they were come, he began to withdraw and separated himself (see Acts 20:20), fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the rest of Jews dissembled also with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away by their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, "If you, being a Judean, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Judean, why compel you the Gentiles to live as do the Judeans? (The meaning here is, if you, a Judean, having become free from the Law, in Christ, 5:1, how unreasonable to compel Gentiles to judaize [adopt the rites and customs of the Judeans]?)
D1 E G 2:15-21. Justification. H 3:1-5. Expostulation. F 3:6-4:11. Illustration. Abraham and his seed. D2 F 4:21-31. Illustration. The bond and the free. E G 5:1-6. Justification. H 5:7-6:10. Expostulation.
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 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.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid." (See Luke 20:16. Rom.3:4.)
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I prove myself to have been transgressor. (I.e. destroying)
19 For I through the law died to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I have been crucified with Christ (see John 19:31. Rom. 6:6): nevertheless I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh (cp. 1 Cor. 15:45) I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave up Himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come through the law, then Christ died in vain. (I.e. uselessly. See John 15:25)