Having dealt with the divine origin of his teaching, the apostle now proceeded to show that his teaching was confirmed by the conference he had with the elders at Jerusalem fourteen years after his conversion. Of the false brethren he declared that their purpose was to bring the followers into bondage, and it is evident they desired that Titus, who accompanied him, should, because he was a Greek, submit to the rite of circumcision. Against this Paul resolutely set his face, absolutely refusing to submit, because he understood the reason of the claim.
Of the visit of Peter to Antioch we have no record in the Acts, but the story is perfectly plain as Paul tells it. Peter's action was of so grave a nature that the apostle, of set purpose, rebuked him before the whole company of believers.
Then follows the great fundamental statement of doctrine. The ultimate purpose of law was to drive men to Christ, through whom they would live to God, and so be independent of all the law's restrictions. Therefore, to put oneself under law again was to break the purpose of law, which was to end itself.
In this connection the apostle wrote that wonderfully comprehensive statement, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me; and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself up for me." Here we have the true Christian life, in both its negative and positive aspects.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25