January 20, 2023
Bishop, W. F. Houston, Jr.
***C H O F Ministry Bible Study Reading:
*C H O F Ministry Focal Verse:
Galatians 2:14 - They were not acting in line with
the truth of the gospel.
What insights and principles can we learn from our disagreements? We get a front-row ticket seat to a confrontation between Peter and Paul in today's Bible study. Although their quarrel was necessary, the education that followed it was even more valuable! Previously, Paul had taught Peter and other leaders about God's acceptance of Gentiles (non-Jewish - Gal. 2:1–4). It wasn’t Peter's first encounter with this truth. He'd seen a vision of a sheet containing unclean animals in Acts 10. Then, he heard a voice telling him, "Do not call anything unclean that God has made clean." (Acts 10:15). Because of this, Peter went to Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and preached the gospel in his home. In conclusion, Peter said, "I have come to the conclusion that it is absolutely true that God does not exhibit favoritism." (Acts 10:34). In light of this, it’s clear that he had no valid justification for the actions described in today's Bible study reading.
What exactly took place? Peter (also known as Cephas) had been eating a meal with some Gentiles, but he stopped when some church representatives arrived. Why? He was worried about what they would say. Even worse, his decision to defend his safety inspired other Jews to follow suit (Gal. 2:12–13). When Paul realized that "they were not acting in keeping with the reality of the gospel," (v. 14), he confronted Peter in front of the church representatives. Too much was at stake for the gospel to let this go. Tolerating such behavior would have been disrespectful to the gospel. His behavior had to be checked!!!
What did Peter take away from this experience? For starters, if you don't want to get checked in front of everyone, you should act appropriately around Paul - (LOL). Peter was (yet again) informed that the promise of salvation was extended to non-Jews and Jews. "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, nor is there slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for in Christ Jesus you are all one" (Galatians 3:28). The story didn't end there! As a result, he learned not to act according to what others think and to accept correction with humility. He gained an understanding of the integrity of the gospel, (vv. 15–16) as well as the fact that the gospel is a way of life that’s lived every day. (vv. 19–21).
* Beloved, we might have trouble agreeing to disagree. Social media allows us to either "shout it out" or "say it nice" while ignoring pressing challenges. Therefore, the lesson that we have taken away from today's Bible study regarding how to resolve disagreements (especially with other Christians) is as follows: Don't be influenced by anyone whose popularity or status will induce you to oppose your faith or morals. When you recognize who and what God has made right (good), Stand by them! It’s time out for favoritism. Playing favoritism is a form of being prejudice, and the foundation for discrimination. Don't worry about what others think or say. Our duty as Christians is to stay in faith and inspire. There’s a lot riding on your faith.
Let Us Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, when we are motivated by resentment, fear, or evil intentions, we are frequently driven to attack people who sin or to avoid confrontation. When it is necessary for us to confront others about their sin, Lord, please guide us in love, truth, and righteousness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you need to talk, we are here for you.