Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3
June 26, 2011
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.
1901 ASV Translation:
13 And the rest of the Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that even Barnabas 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 Cephas before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest as do the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, how compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We being Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed on Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law: because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17 But if, while we sought to be justified in Christ, we ourselves also were found sinners, is Christ a minister of sin? God forbid.
18 For if I build up again those things which I destroyed, I prove myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law died unto the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.
21 I do not make void the grace of God: for if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nought.
- I. The Jewish "Brethren" Play the Hypocrite.
- A. Paul's choice of words.
- 1. Paul's verb (translated "dissembled") is unique in this form (nowhere else in the New Testament).
- 2. The noun is more prevalent, but not largely so (used in seven contexts).
- 3. A related term is used in 20 contexts, most of which are in Matthew.
- 4. The concept of the word is the production of a false image that is, by design, intended to mislead those who see it. In the Bible, this false image production is seen as a serious evil. The primary issue is the production of a false image of loyalty and love for God that is, by design, intended to deceive the onlookers into thinking of the performer as "godly". This has enormous ramifications because people are typically influenced to embrace ideas and courses of action by those they consider to be "godly".
- B. Paul's accusation.
- 1. The "rest of the Jews" (Jewish believers in Antioch) followed the example of Cephas.
- 2. Even Barnabas was misled. He was either "led into hypocrisy", or was "led away by the hypocrisy". In either case, he thought them "legitimate" in their "love for God" even though that "love" was denigrating the Gentile brethren.
- II. Paul's Response.
- A. He "saw" that their behavior and the Gospel were in opposition. It is fundamentally impossible for a "Gospel" of acceptance by grace through faith to be in harmony with a practice of rejection because of a failure to live by the Law.
- 1. Since Paul, himself, insisted upon "rejection" of fellow-believers on some occasions, when is it "hypocrisy" and when is it "true godliness" to "hold oneself aloof from" other "believers"?
- 2. At issue is the essence of "hypocrisy".
- a. For Paul's Gospel, the issue of justification by the works of the Law is most fundamentally "hypocrisy" since no one is justified by those works (Galatians 2:16 and Romans 3:20).
- b. Thus, anyone who "separates" from others because they do not believe in justification by works is a hypocrite.
- c. The issue, then, is not separation from someone who is living in violation of the moral character of God as expressed by His Word; it is separation from someone for not believing a doctrine declared to be from God, but is not. Therefore, anyone can "separate" from others if those "others" are living in violation of the moral issues of the one doing the "separating" -- as long as the one doing the separating is living in harmony with the moral requirements.
- d. The bottom line: "hypocrisy" is insisting that others "do" what the one doing the insisting is not doing.
- B. He "said" to Cephas in the presence of all... . Paul determined to address the problem in public because it was a public humiliation for all of the Gentile brethren.
- 1. If you, being a Jew, are living in the manner of a Gentile and not in the manner of a Jew, how do you compel the Gentiles to live as Jews?
- a. This is the essence of the charge of hypocrisy: insisting that others do what you are not doing.
- b. At this point, the issue is not the "doctrine" behind the "living"; it is the contradiction of doing what you refuse to allow others to do.
- 2. We [are] by nature "Jews" and not "sinners" from among the nations.
- a. We have always had a special status among the nations.
- b. It is not "hypocrisy" to claim such special status.
- 3. But knowing that a man is not justified by works of the Law, but by faith of Jesus Christ...
- 4. ...even we believed into Christ Jesus in order that we might be justified by faith of Christ and not by works of law...
- 5. ...because by works of law shall no flesh be justified.