Galatians 2 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Church Leaders Accept Paul as an Apostle
2 Fourteen years later I returned to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas[a] and Titus,[b] my coworkers. 2 God had given me a clear revelation[c] to go and confer with the other apostles concerning the message of grace I was preaching to the non-Jewish people. I spoke privately with those who were viewed as senior leaders of the church. I wanted to make certain that my labor and ministry for the Messiah had not been based on a false understanding of the gospel.[d]
4 I met with them privately and confidentially because false “brothers” had been secretly smuggled into the church meetings. They were sent to spy on the wonderful liberty and freedom that we have in Jesus the Anointed One. Their agenda was to bring us back into the legalistic bondage of religion. 5 But you must know that we did not submit to their religious shackles[i] not even for a moment, so that we might keep the gospel of grace unadulterated for you.
6 Even the most honored and esteemed among the brothers were not able to add anything to my message. Who they are before men makes no difference to me, for God is not impressed by the reputations[j] of men. 7 So they concluded that I was entrusted with taking the gospel to the non-Jewish people just as Peter was entrusted with taking it to the Jews. 8 For the same God who anointed Peter to be an apostle to the Jews also anointed me as an apostle to those who are not Jewish.
9 When they all recognized this grace operating in my ministry, James, Peter, and John, the esteemed followers[k] of Jesus, extended to me the warmth of Christian fellowship and honored[l] my calling to minister to the non-Jewish people. 10 They simply requested one thing of me: that I would remember the poor and needy, which was the burden I was already carrying in my heart.
Paul Confronts Peter
11 But when Peter visited Antioch,[m] he began to mislead the believers and caused them to stumble over his behavior, so I had to confront him to his face over what he was doing. 12 He enjoyed being with the non-Jewish believers who didn’t keep the Jewish customs, eating his meals with them—up until the time the Jewish friends of James arrived from Jerusalem. When he saw them, he withdrew from his non-Jewish friends and separated himself from them, acting like an orthodox Jew—fearing how it would look to them if he ate with the non-Jewish believers.[n]
13 And so because of Peter’s hypocrisy,[o] many other Jewish believers followed suit, refusing to eat with non-Jewish believers. Even Barnabas was led astray by their poor example and condoned this legalistic, hypocritical behavior!
14 So when I realized they were acting inconsistently with the revelation of grace, I confronted Peter in front of everyone:
“You were born a Jew and yet you’ve chosen to disregard Jewish regulations and live like a gentile.[p] Why then do you force those who are not Jews to conform to the regulations of Judaism?
Jews and Non-Jews Are Saved by Faith
15 “Although we’re Jews by birth and not non-Jewish ‘sinners,’ 16 we know full well that we don’t receive God’s perfect righteousness as a reward for keeping the law, but by the faith of Jesus, the Messiah![q] His faithfulness, not ours, has saved us, and we have received God’s perfect righteousness. Now we know that God accepts no one by the keeping of religious laws!
17 “If we are those who desire to be saved from our sins through our union with the Anointed One, does that mean our Messiah promotes our sins if we still acknowledge that we are sinners? How absurd! 18 For if I start over and reconstruct the old religious system that I have torn down with the message of grace, I will appear to be one who turns his back on the truth.
19 “But because the Messiah lives in me, I’ve now died to the law’s dominion over me so that I can live for God.
20 “My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, and dispenses his life into mine![r]
21 “So that is why I don’t view God’s grace as something minor or peripheral. For if keeping the law could release God’s righteousness to us, the Anointed One would have died for nothing.”
Galatians 2 New International Version (NIV)
Paul Accepted by the Apostles
2 Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
6 As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b] 8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James, Cephas[c] and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.
Paul Opposes Cephas
11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in[d] Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.
19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”[e]