We explore the reasoning Paul used in order to demolish the position Peter had taken in beginning to behave towards Gentiles as the Judaizers would. The argument he develops has three components:

  • Paul begins by attacking Peter’s position and showing the error of it.
  • Paul then adopts Peter’s postition and reduces it to the point of absurdity - it nullifies grace and turns Christ into a minister of sin!
  • Paul changes positions again and drives home the case against Peter’s (and thus the Judaizers’) belief and behavior.

Once more, we are left understanding that salvation, if it is indeed by grace, cannot be obtained on the basis of our works or of any contribution from us at all. Christ has done it all and we should rejoice in that. However, we are warned against the extreme that would say that we may now live as we wish and still go to heaven, since Christ has done it all. Rather, we are saved in order to produce fruit for God’s glory through the good works He prepared in advance for us to do.


Shaun Bryant

Shaun has been Pastor at Grace Church in Modesto since late 1993. His journey to the fellowship took him through churches of various persuasions, during which time he became convinced of a call to the ministry and also of a Reformed view of the Scriptures. Shaun completed his studies for the ministry at Westminster Seminary in California. He is married with 3 children.

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