Galatians 2:1-21 Voice
Galatians 2:1-21 Voice  As a result of a revelation, I returned to Jerusalem 14 years later; and this time Barnabas and Titus accompanied me. When I arrived, I shared the exact gospel that I preach to the outsiders. I first shared God's truth privately with those who were people of influence and leadership because I thought if they did not embrace the freedom of my good news, then any work I had done for Jesus here and any in the past would be spoiled.  Listen carefully. None of the Jerusalem leaders insisted that Titus be circumcised, although he is Greek.  Some people who were pretending to be our brothers and sisters were brought in to spy on the freedom we enjoy in the Anointed One, Jesus-their agenda was clear: they wanted to enslave us.  But we didn't give in to them. We didn't entertain their thoughts for a minute! We resisted them so the true gospel-and not some counterfeit-would continue to be available to you.  It makes no difference to me (or to God for that matter) if people have power or influence. God doesn't choose favorites among His children. Even the so-called pillars of the church didn't contribute anything new to my understanding of the good news.  But it quickly became obvious to them what God was doing: He had entrusted me to carry the good news to the uncircumcised, just as Peter was called to preach to those who were circumcised.  God was at work in the ministry of Peter, as emissary to the Jews, and was also moving and working with me in my ministry to the outsider nations.  When James, Cephas (whom you know as Peter), and John-three men purported to be pillars among the Jewish believers-saw that God's favor was upon me to fulfill this calling, they welcomed and endorsed both Barnabas and me. They agreed that our ministries would work as two hands, theirs advancing the mission of God among the Jews and ours toward the outsider nations, all with the same message of redemption.  In parting, they requested we always remember to care for the poor among us, which was something I was eager to do.  But when Cephas came to Antioch, there was a problem. I got in his face and exposed him in front of everyone. He was clearly wrong.  Here's what was going on: before certain people from James arrived, Cephas used to share meals with the Gentile outsiders. And then, after they showed up, Cephas suddenly became aloof and distanced himself from the outsiders because he was afraid of those believers who thought circumcision was necessary.  The rest of the Jewish believers followed his lead, including Barnabas! Their hypocritical behavior was so obvious-  their actions were not at all consistent with everything the good news of our Lord represents. So I approached Cephas and told him in plain sight of everyone: "If you, a Jew, have lived like the Gentile outsiders and not like the Jews, then how can you turn around and urge the outsiders to start living like Jews?"  We are natural-born Jews, not sinners from the godless nations.  But we know that no one is made right with God by meeting the demands of the law. It is only through the faithfulness of Jesus the Anointed that salvation is even possible. This is why we put faith in Jesus the Anointed: so we will be put right with God. It's His faithfulness-not works prescribed by the law-that puts us in right standing with God because no one will be acquitted and declared "right" for doing what the law demands.  Even though we are seeking a right relationship with God through the Anointed, the fact is we have been found out. We are sinners. But does that mean the Anointed is the one responsible for our sins? Absolutely not!  If I reconstruct something I have worked so hard to destroy, then I prove myself a sinner.  The law has provided the means to end my dependence on it for righteousness, and so I died to the law. Now I have found the freedom to truly live for God.  I have been crucified with the Anointed One-I am no longer alive-but the Anointed is living in me; and whatever life I have left in this failing body I live by the faithfulness of God's Son, the One who loves me and gave His body on the cross for me.  I can't dismiss God's grace, and I won't. If being right with God depends on how we measure up to the law, then the Anointed's sacrifice on the cross was the most tragic waste in all of history!
Find out more about this Bible translation: