Confirmation from the Jerusalem Apostles
2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem1 again with Barnabas, taking Titus along too. 2:2 I went there2 because of3 a revelation and presented4 to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did so5 only in a private meeting with the influential people,6 to make sure that I was not running – or had not run7 – in vain. 2:3 Yet8 not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. 2:4 Now this matter arose9 because of the false brothers with false pretenses10 who slipped in unnoticed to spy on11 our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, to make us slaves.12 2:5 But13 we did not surrender to them14 even for a moment,15 in order that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.16
2:6 But from those who were influential17 (whatever they were makes no difference to me; God shows no favoritism between people18) – those influential leaders19 added20 nothing to my message.21 2:7 On the contrary, when they saw22 that I was entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised23 just as Peter was to the circumcised24 2:8 (for he who empowered25 Peter for his apostleship26 to the circumcised27 also empowered me for my apostleship to the Gentiles)28 2:9 and when James, Cephas,29 and John, who had a reputation as30 pillars,31 recognized32 the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me33 the right hand of fellowship, agreeing34 that we would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.35 2:10 They requested36 only that we remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager to do.
Paul Rebukes Peter
2:11 But when Cephas37 came to Antioch,38 I opposed him to his face, because he had clearly done wrong.39 2:12 Until40 certain people came from James, he had been eating with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he stopped doing this41 and separated himself42 because he was afraid of those who were pro-circumcision.43 2:13 And the rest of the Jews also joined with him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray with them44 by their hypocrisy. 2:14 But when I saw that they were not behaving consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas45 in front of them all, “If you, although you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to force46 the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
Jews and Gentiles are Justified by Faith
2:15 We are Jews by birth47 and not Gentile sinners,48 2:16 yet we know49 that no one50 is justified by the works of the law51 but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.52 And53 we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ54 and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one55 will be justified. 2:17 But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ then one who encourages56 sin? Absolutely not! 2:18 But if I build up again those things I once destroyed,57 I demonstrate that I am one who breaks God’s law.58 2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ,59 and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So60 the life I now live in the body,61 I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God,62 who loved me and gave himself for me. 2:21 I do not set aside63 God’s grace, because if righteousness64 could come through the law, then Christ died for nothing!65