DCLM Daily Manna 10 December 2021 Devotional by Pastor W. F. Kumuyi — Stand Firm!
TOPIC: Stand Firm!
TEXT: Galatians 2:11-21
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 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.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
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 by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
KEY VERSE: “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.” – (Galatians 2:17)
Managing fundamental differences among Christian leaders tests where we truly stand in the kingdom of God. Will the sharp remarks that come along be allowed to turn into a carnal affair? Will the contradictions in the positions we take return us to the ways of the world? Will the contention be so grave as to lead to regrettable utterances unbecoming of genuine Christians? Or are we to allow the disagreement to drive us from the church and break up the household of God.
A similar test arose between Peter and Paul, pillars in the early church. Peter, who had preached the power of unconditional faith in Jesus as the way of salvation without Jewish ordinances, now shifted ground. Away from Jerusalem in Antioch, he began to shun the Gentile converts for fear of the Jews who had come from the headquarters in Jerusalem. He had been socialising with the Gentiles until then. The implication of his action was that Christianity was after all an exclusive club for the Jews.
Paul firmly resisted this hypocritical position of Peter because it would overthrow the teaching of the gospel of Jesus that all who believe in Christ are one. Dissent with a leader is permitted if the doctrine of Jesus is threatened by the leaders’ action. We are saved by grace through the finished work of our Lord and not by a legal system of respecting a social system which Peter’s Antioch show suggested. The gospel of Jesus must be shielded from corruption.
However, the disagreement between these two beloved apostles was not personal. It was to protect the truth to which they both subscribed. There must be no bitterness among us as we seek to let the truth prevail.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Don’t shift ground on gospel truths.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor W. F. Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.