The Gift New Testament

A free online Bible study resource


2:1Fourteen years later I went up to Jerusalem and took Barnabas and Titus with me.2:2I went according to a revelation and presented to them the Gospel I proclaim among the non-Judeans. Yet I only told this privately to those who were highly esteemed, in case somehow I was still, or had been, running in vain.2:3But they didn’t even force Titus, the Greek who was with me, to be circumcised.2:4And this had to be done privately because of the fake believers, who were planted to spy on the freedom we have in Anointed Jesus so they could enslave us.2:5But we did not give in to them for even a second, so that the truth of the Gospel could stand secure with you.

2:6As for those who were highly esteemed, what they once were is of no concern to me (and God is not impressed with human credentials), because they did not add any further conditions.2:7But on the contrary, they saw that I have been entrusted with bringing the Gospel to the non-Judeans, just as Peter was to the Judeans.2:8The same One who empowered Peter in his commission to the Judeans also empowered me in that of the non-Judeans.2:9James, Cephas,1 and John— those reputed to be the “supporting pillars”— recognized the favor that was granted to me and welcomed me and Barnabas into the partnership; we were to go to the non-Judeans and they to the Judeans.2:10All they asked is that we remember the poor, which is exactly what I had intended to do.

2:11Now when Cephas came to Antioch I confronted him to his face because he was in error.2:12What happened was that before some people came representing James, he ate together with the non-Judeans, but when those people came he withdrew and segregated himself out of fear of “the circumcision.”2:13And he led the rest of the Judeans into displaying a double standard with him, to the point where even Barnabas got carried away with it.2:14But when I saw that they had veered off the road leading to the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “If you, a Judean, could live as the non-Judeans and not according to Judaism, how is it that now you are compelling the non-Judeans to observe Judaism?”

2:15We who are natural Judeans, not non-Judean deviants,2:16have understood that no one is justified on the basis of meeting the requirements of the Law, but only by trusting in Jesus the Anointed. And we put our trust in Anointed Jesus so that we may be justified by that trust and not due to performing the requirements of the Law, which the flesh cannot accomplish.

2:17Now if we want to be justified and are found to be united with the Anointed yet are deviants ourselves, does that mean that the Anointed is condoning sin? Absolutely not!2:18For if I demolish what I build, I condemn myself as a one who crosses the line.2:19By means of the Law, I died to it so that I would live for God.2:20I have been crucified along with the Anointed, yet I live; but at the same time, it isn’t really I but the Anointed who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live in trust of the God-Man who loved me and gave himself up for my sake.2:21I do not deny the truth of the favor of God, because if justice could come by means of the Law, that would mean the Anointed’s death was a wasted effort!

  1. 1Cephas is the Aramaic name for Peter.