Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 6
July 17, 2011
Dayton, Texas
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<101> Thesis: The basis for the justification of any "flesh" is the faith of Jesus Christ. Introduction: As we continue our study of Paul's confrontation of Cephas in Antioch, we are going to see that Paul's reasoning is extremely "tight". Last time we saw that Paul set Cephas up with his claim that he and Cephas were "natural Jews" and not "sinners" from the nations. This meant two things: first, that he and Cephas were a genetic part of God's special selection of Abraham and His promise to make of him a great nation; and, second, that he and Cephas had never been guilty of the Gentiles' blatant idolatry. Thus, "we are Jews and we know Who God is" was an automatic elevation of himself and Cephas to a place of superiority to the status of the Gentiles. This, at first blush, seems to permit Cephas to refuse to hobnob with the Gentiles because "they are not as good as I am". However, before Paul will let that thought settle, he immediately claims that because he and Cephas both know that a man is not justified by works of law, even we (as the inherently superior ones) believed in Christ Jesus. Since this is the method of justification, Cephas was forced to conclude that his air of superiority over the believing Gentiles was completely hypocritical -- the superior were brought down to a level playing field. This evening we are going to look into Paul's argument and, in the process, are going to find that our translators have thrown us a few significant curves.