#7 When Rebuke is Necessary

Book of Galatians
Book of Galatians
#7 When Rebuke is Necessary

References: Galatians 2:11-14

We are back in the book of Galatians, chapter two on our Sunday mornings now. We’ve been a couple of weeks away from Galatians. We’re trying to work our way through this book through the summer months. And so we come to chapter two and verse 11. And I’m just going to take four verses this morning and then try to finish this chapter next week as we kind of complete the thought that goes on through this. Remember that in the book of Galatians, chapter one and two are biographical. Paul is telling us things that happened that we actually don’t have in the book of Acts.
Usually out of the book of Acts, we have all the places that he went and the times and all the things. But he tells us here a couple of things that are not told us. And the interesting thing about the passage, we just read it a few minutes ago in our service here. The unusual thing about this story is that you have one apostle confronting another apostle publicly. And so here is Paul, who is the younger of the two and the lesser known of the two rebuking, if you will. And that’s why I use the term in the title here, rebuking Peter.
There was no one more prominent than Peter in the church at that time. So it’s kind of an unusual thing that happens here. Let me put just a few footnotes with that. Number one, apostles were not infallible in their life. Now the apostles were chosen by Jesus and given prominence and even given abilities that the rest of us would not have. And when they wrote scripture, yes, they wrote things that were infallible. But that doesn’t mean that everything else they did in life was without blame or without fault. And so Peter had his faults, Paul had his, and so did everyone else. And so we understand that in many ways they were human.
And so we know that. Secondly, there was great respect among the apostles. And Peter and Paul will not lose their respect for one another because of what we read here this morning. You remember that Paul and Barnabas had that falling out, which happened very close to this time in their lives.
And yet for the rest of their lives, they complimented each other and Paul would speak well of Barnabas and they considered themselves partners in ministry. So that’s good. And then thirdly, these things are included in the scripture for you and me.
So that we learn from them. And that’s good. It even proves to us that the Bible is inspired because if somebody was just trying to paint a rosy picture of things, he wouldn’t have included this passage, would he? He’d leave things like this out. But the very fact that they’re included is God’s help to us so that we can learn from times like this.
So here we have kind of an interesting passage, as I’ve said before, where an open rebuke happens between Paul and Peter. When I think about these things, I think about my mother, my mother whom you did not meet. She passed away in 2001, but she was an English teacher and had been an English teacher all of her life, was the head of the language arts department in the public high school for years and years and years. I had her for English. My brother’s sister had her for English. So an English teacher has been around that long, has a good ear for things that she hears, right? So my mother, if she heard something that wasn’t grammatically correct, it stuck out in her mind like a musician hearing a bad note with someone singing.
It just did. But my mother had a rule, and her rule was, I will never correct someone publicly. If they make a mistake and grammar and I feel like I can kind of help them with it, I’ll do it, but I always do it privately. I never embarrass someone publicly. So I remember that rule from my mom, and I got talked to privately a number of times throughout my life.
I laughingly say, you know, when I would write letters home in college, I’d get them back redlined. And I think that was true sometimes. But here we have a case where Paul feels the need to rebuke someone, someone very important, very publicly.
Well, understand this. Grammar isn’t essential to the gospel. Praise the Lord for that, for all of us who preach. Grammar isn’t essential to the gospel.
But so, teriology is. That is the doctrine of salvation and what the Bible says about how we get saved. That’s essential. And when that came up in this situation where Paul felt like he needed to step in and say something in front of everyone so that there was no mistake about what the gospel is, that’s what we’re looking at. And that’s what he did.
That’s why this is so important. So rebuke comes in a number of different ways. God rebukes us, does he not? Psalm 1 19 21 says to God, you rebuke the proud who stray from your commandments. And when God does that to us, it’s good for us.
It helps us, of course. Job said, should your empty talk make men hold their peace? And when you mock, should not one rebuke you? Listen to these Proverbs.
You’ll remember these. Proverbs 98, do not correct a scoffer lest he hate you, but rebuke a wise man and he will love you. And Proverbs 1925, strike a scoffer and the simple will become weary. Rebuke one who has understanding and he will discern knowledge. And then it’s 27, 5, open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.
The wounds of a friend, you know, are a good thing. So even in the New Testament, we have certain times when this happens. Paul says to Timothy in 1 Timothy 51, do not rebuke an older man. It’s not acceptable. It’s not polite.
It’s not manners for someone very young to rebuke someone very old, especially in public, of course. But exhort him as a father and younger men as brothers. So Paul will say at the end of his life, preach the word.
Be ready in season, out of season, Confense, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering. And so even the preaching of God’s word sometimes is a rebuke to us. So Peter and Paul as we come to Acts chapter 2. If I ask you who is greater, who is greater, Peter or Paul, There’s no way to answer that. In one way in our passage here, Paul, in his holy boldness, that caused him to have to speak out.
Paul was a great man when it came to defending the faith. He hears an error having to do with salvation and the gospel. He speaks out more than Peter did here. But on the other hand, Peter had holy humility and Peter actually will accept the rebuke and Peter will correct it to make sure that it’s thought of right. That takes a great person to do too, doesn’t it?
Not only sometimes to give rebuke, but to receive rebuke in the right way. So I want us to look at this passage and notice that I’m only going through the first four verses. And that’ll take the hour, so I don’t have time to go through the rest of the chapter. But then I want to come back and begin in the middle of verse 14 and go to the end. As a matter of fact, you will notice in the middle of verse 14, right after he said, I said to Peter before them all, there’s a quotation mark there. At least in the New King James, they have a quotation in most of the newer translations, all the way down through verse 21 where you have the last quotation mark.
And so the actual rebuke that he gives, the wording of the rebuke, we have from verse 14 through verse 21. And I’ll talk about that next week. What we’re going to look at this morning is again why this happened and why Paul felt the need to do this and a little bit of what happened exactly as he was doing it. Now also keep this in mind that this is happening as Acts chapter 15 and the Jerusalem Council had happened.
We talked about this last time. As a matter of fact, verses 1 through 10 in our passage is added material to what happened in Acts chapter 15. So he’s talking about how that there was this problem with these Judaizers saying, you’ve got to keep the whole law to be saved. And Peter knew better, James knew better, Paul and Barnabas come to the meeting and they know better.
And they set the record straight. You don’t have to keep the Old Testament law to be saved. Any part of it to be saved. Well, what’s going to happen here is that some more of these Jews again are coming down from Jerusalem up to Antioch and they’re going to say it again. And as Paul hears that happen, Paul feels like he has to step in and set the record straight.
So that’s what’s going on here. And by the way, the whole second chapter of Galatians is again biographical and we don’t have any of this in the book of Acts. So Luke over in the book of Acts includes a lot of things, but he doesn’t include this. So here Paul writing himself under inspiration includes these extra things for us.
us. So notice, first of all Paul’s account and then we’ll get to Peter’s error in just a minute. Paul begins to explain now in verse 11, but when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face because he was to be blamed.
Wow, that’s tough. Now notice he explains a little about Peter being in Antioch. Peter was the official inspector and rightfully so. He was the most prominent of the apostles and as things happened in the churches, especially if they seemed at all controversial, Peter and often John with him would go to those churches and observe what had happened and put their approval on it.
So it’s not unusual for this to happen for Peter to be here. You remember that when Philip was up preaching in Samaria and Gentiles had gotten saved. Peter and John go up to Samaria to see if this is so. And then it was in Caesarea that Cornelius was instructed to get Peter and bring him up to Caesarea and Peter sees the Gentiles being saved in Caesarea. So now this same kind of thing is happening up in Antioch and has been for a while. So Peter’s there. So nothing unusual about Peter being there. Keep this in mind that the Bible is describing a transitional period between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Dispensation of Law, which is now being done away with and the New Dispensation of Grace, which is being inaugurated and preached. And as that happens, it’s tough on people. It’s tough to go through a dispensational change like that. We haven’t experienced it in our lifetime. If the rapture happens, we will. And it’ll be pretty tough on the world to adjust to such a change.
And so a change was happening and explanation was being given. As a matter of fact, after Peter went to Caesarea, I’m going to read you a couple of verses here. Acts chapter 11 in three verses 11, 16.
He’s rehearsing what he saw happen in Caesarea. Here’s what Peter says. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. If therefore God gave them the same gift as he gave us, that is the Gentiles, the same gift that he gave us Jews, when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God? And when they, that is all the church now down in Jerusalem, when they heard these things, they became silent and they glorified God saying, then God has granted to the Gentiles repentance to life. Praise the Lord that that happened in Caesarea. Praise the Lord that it happened in Samaria. And now after Acts 15, praise the Lord that it’s happening in Antioch, too, that that that’s what is going on. Look at chapter three, you’re in Galatians. Look at chapter three and beginning in verse 26, just a few verses. For you are all sons of God through what?
Keeping the law? No, faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Now in verse 28, it’s very important. Therefore is there is neither Jew nor Greek. Stop at that and think about that. Is there no longer Jews or Greeks or Americans or Russians or Chinese or what of that? Well, there are nationalities, but in Christ Jesus, no, we’re brother and sister.
In Christ Jesus, where you come from, what language you speak, what color your skin is, what what customs you have, we are one in Christ Jesus. And that’s what he means when he says that. So the same thing is true about slave or free and male and female.
We’re all one in Christ and brothers and sisters in Christ. So that has been happening. And that’s what’s going on. We all come by faith. And so you have here explained to us in the next verse that Peter is sitting down eating with these Gentile believers up in Antioch. Everything’s just fine. And the Gentiles are eating with him and the other Jews. Everything’s just fine.
Going along just great. So here’s Peter up in Antioch doing what Peter always does. Secondly, Paul says in this same verse, when he came, though, I had to was I was stood him to his face because he was to be blamed.
And he’s going to explain that in just a minute. A face to face rebuke. I withstood him.
It means very literally I stood again. I don’t know if you ever had to do that in your life in some kind of public setting where you had to just take a stand and stand up and say something. That’s tough to do, isn’t it?
It’s always been hard for Christians to do. We would rather have peace. We would rather speak to someone later about their personal problems.
But sometimes it has to be done like this. And who is this young Paul anyway? Here’s the great Peter. I mean, no one was better known as a Christian at that time than Peter, the foremost of the apostles.
And who’s Paul? Isn’t he that young man that persecuted us? Isn’t he the one that stood there and held Stephen’s clothing when they stoned him to death? Who is Paul? And he wasn’t very well known yet too much. He’d been through one missionary journey with Barnabas, but that was all. But in Paul’s defense here, as he’s telling this, under inspiration of the Spirit, by the
way, the Holy Spirit is allowing him and telling him to say this, some things have to be stopped immediately. Some things can’t go unsaid. And that’s what was happening here.
And so public error needs public review. You remember David’s sin. David had committed adultery and then he committed murder to Uriah. And so Nathan, the prophet, was sent publicly before David to say, you are the man, David. You’re the one causing trouble in Israel.
You remember Elijah, when the prophets of Baal had almost taken over the country, so he goes to Mount Carbel and he gets all the prophets of Baal there and he gets all the priests of Israel there. And he says, we’re going to have a showdown and figure out who’s right here. And Jesus himself, by the way, often, maybe more often than not, had to speak before large crowds of people.
And at one point he said, you Pharisees, you hypocrites, you brood of vipers. I mean, he did this kind of thing publicly often. So it’s not without precedent that we have this kind of thing. Even in the church in 1 Peter 520, speaking by the way of ministers, those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all that the rest may hear. So there are times even among ourselves that even perhaps this has to be done. So he says,
I withstood Peter to his face because he was wrong. He was to be blamed. And Peter’s going to realize that, I think, very quickly. But sometimes we’re like Peter. We just don’t see it right away in ourselves, do we? So here’s Peter and Antioch. Here’s Paul’s account of it.
So verse 12 begins with the word for. In other words, now we get a little explanation of why this happened and what was going on. So notice, before certain men came from James, and by the way, I’ll come back to them in a minute. But again, these were Judaizers. These were some of those men down in Jerusalem still who hadn’t gotten a message yet that you don’t have to keep the law to be safe. They come up and find the church there in Antioch. But before they got here, it says he would eat with the Gentiles.
Any big problem with that? He ate with the Gentiles. Well, think about that for a minute.
You have a happy scene going on here in this church. Now turn the clock back a hundred years, turn the clock back a thousand years, and the Jews would have nothing to do with the Gentiles. They would not eat with them. Not necessarily that the specific law of God said not to, but their laws said you don’t defile yourselves with being with Gentiles and eating with Gentiles. So if you’re going to keep the law to be safe, can you do this? And these Jewish men from Jerusalem thought you can’t do this and say that you’re a Christian. Isn’t that strange?
And yet that’s what was happening. But also I want you to remember this. They had already been down to Jerusalem, and they have dealt with this problem. And they went down there to Jerusalem, and the Gentiles up in Antioch are saying, do we really have to keep the law to be safe? Do we have to be circumcised and do all of those kinds of things? And they go down to Jerusalem, and the answer is no, you don’t have to. So now the Gentiles in all of the cities, but in Antioch are saying praise the Lord. We’re saved by grace and grace alone. We don’t have to do those things.
We can have whatever diet we want to have, but we don’t have to do it the Jewish way. So they were happy. Not only that, but the Jews are happy.
Because what they found out was, we will ask the Gentiles not to offend you, and you don’t offend them in certain ways. They’re not going to eat meat with blood in it right before you. And they’re not going to strangle their meat right in front of you. And you won’t bother, you know, eat meat offered to idols, and neither will they. And so you’re going to treat each other as brother and sister equals in Christ and get along great.
And you know what? They were doing that in Antioch. They were having a good time.
They were having dinner there, and no one was being defiled. Well, if you can real quickly, I’m gonna turn back to Romans 14 and just read a few verses that Paul will later write, much later in his journeys about this very thing. In Romans 14 and verse five and six, one person esteems one day above another.
Another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day observes it to the Lord. And he who does not observe the day to the Lord, he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord and gives God thanks. And he who does not eat to the Lord, he does not eat and gives God thanks. Not only that, but in verse 14, he said, now I am convinced by the Lord Jesus, there is nothing unclean of itself.
Eat what you wanna eat. But to him who considers it anything to be unclean, to him then, in his conscience, it’s unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you’re no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Don’t let your good be evil spoken of.
So here they are and they’re practicing that and getting along great. I think as a matter of fact, the Gentiles had their catfish and if the Jews didn’t wanna eat their catfish, they didn’t have to. And the Jews had their okra and if the Gentiles didn’t wanna
eat their okra, they didn’t have to eat it. They ate it if they want to, not if they didn’t want to. It was pretty clear cut and things were going along great for a little while. So notice this verse says, now before these guys come,
everything’s great in the church. They have learned, they have practicing brotherly kindness and love, restraining themselves when they should and yet doing what is free for them to do when it’s right. But when they came, notice those words in that verse, but, adversitive conjunction, but when they came, now who are they? These Judaizers, these men from, it says they came from James, by the way. This James is not the brother of John, Peter, James and John, but this is the brother of Jesus. So this is the James who becomes the pastor of the church in Jerusalem.
He also writes the book of James later on. They come from James and they say, you can’t sit with Gentiles. Now, I don’t think it means to say that James was agreeing with them. I think it just means, it could mean they boasted, we come from James or it might just mean they came from James’s church down in Jerusalem. I doubt if James would agree.
As a matter of fact, in Acts chapter 15, James specifically disagrees with them and says, no salvation is by faith. But when they came, imagine them walking into the church service. I think a dinner was going on evidently. Maybe one of the things they call love feasts. We call it a banquet and a potluck dinner. They’re having dinner together in the church and these men walk in, stern faces, men from Jerusalem and they’re looking around and they’re seeing things that they don’t like.
So what happens? He, that’s Peter, noticed two words, withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. Okay, here’s your grammatical detail for today, if you will, okay? With, drew and separated are past tenses. There are three kinds of past tenses in that language that he was writing with. One we call the heiress tense, which means something happened at one time in the past, you just refer to the whole thing all at once. Second word called imperfect means past tense but things going on in the past. And then the third kind is kind of a combination of perfect tenses, a combination of those two.
These, both of these words are what’s called the imperfect tense, the imperfect passive, which means these things were going on. You know, if I said I went to Alaska, which I did two weeks ago, that’s an heiress tense. I went, I’m referring to the whole trip in one thing. I went to Alaska.
But if I said something like, I was in Alaska, that’s an imperfect tense, I’m talking about things going on at that time. As a matter of fact, the NAS and other translations have it, he began to withdraw himself. In other words, what this tense means is, it’s not that Peter jumped up and ran out of the room. It means that Peter kind of quietly withdrew and got away from these Gentiles so that he wouldn’t be blamed by these men from Jerusalem. I think the picture must have been like this, that Paul is over here and, you know, he’s having his Star of David cup of coffee with some of the Gentiles and Jews and he’s over here and nobody’s bothered. Meanwhile, Peter’s across the room and he’s sitting at this banquet table over here and there are Gentiles at that table and he’s enjoying it and they’re enjoying it. And all of a sudden, these men walk in the door and Peter sees it. Peter’s eyes get kind of big and Peter, Paul’s over here drinking his coffee with his friends and the next time Paul looks across the room Peter is standing now and he’s looking a little nervous and these men come into the room and Paul looks back and now Peter’s kind of walking around that table and pretty soon Paul notices that Peter goes over to a table that only has Jews and he sits down over there. It’s not just one thing, it’s he notices this progression.
He sees Peter withdrawing and separating himself bit by bit slowly by slowly. Now I think at this point had that been the only problem Paul might have waited till later and cornered Peter about it and lectured him about it but we’re gonna see that that’s not all that happens here, that it’s gonna be it’s gonna affect a lot more people publicly than just Peter. Now it says also that he feared those who are the circumcision. He feared them. You mean the great Apostle Peter feared these men?
He had been down there Jerusalem and they were in that meeting too when it was settled among the churches and all the Apostles and the church at Jerusalem. Salvation is not by keeping the law, it’s by faith alone and yet here’s Peter fearing them. I tell you one of the worst things that happened in ministry is when ministers fear peer pressure from other ministers. Now you can be encouraged by one another, you can be rebuked by one another, you can have friendships, you can have all of that but to think I’m not gonna follow my convictions because I’m afraid of what so-and-so is gonna say that just doesn’t ride in the in the ministry and so that’s what Peter was doing. I guess we look back over Peter’s life and we see that yeah he might be that kind of person. We know he was vacillating a lot about things.
Well you would think by now he was beyond that but he wasn’t. Now a footnote here before we go on to the third point and that is this is not a racial problem. This is a doctrinal problem. I’m sure there was a lot of racial tension still among Jews and Gentiles. There’s no doubt about that. We know that there was but that’s not what’s happening here and we don’t use this passage to say that okay wherever there’s racism or racial tension it needs to be done away because of this. No what’s happening here is doctrinal and we’re gonna see it. It’s because of the gospel and something is being said here that cannot stand and that is you can’t associate with Gentiles and still be saved. You’ve got to keep the law of Moses to be saved.
That’s what’s happening here and Paul’s gonna put an end to it real quickly. So you know if someone came to you and you said I’m a Christian I said oh really have you been baptized yet? You realize that’s a doctrinal question. If you said well I’m a Christian somebody said yes but have you spoken in tongues yet? That’s a doctrinal question.
Well our sister died well did she receive last rights? That’s a doctrinal question but that is what’s going on here in front of these people. Now notice if we go to number three Peter’s influence is told to us in verse 13. Notice I have here the rest of the Jews are affected and Barnabas is affected. Oh so it’s not gonna be just Peter. Notice and the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrites with him and even Barnabas was carried about by this.
So what is happening now? Well the same kind of expression so here the Jews see Peter get up and work his way around the table and go across the room and sit only with the Jews and the next thing you know here here are these these are anti-Occan Jews. These are guys who know better by now and they get up and begin to leave the Gentile table.
They go over here and sit down and then another one and then another one and Paul’s over here gulping his his coffee down and looking at that saying this is you know this is getting out of hand now and so he sees the influence. Notice he played the hypocrite the new King James has played the hypocrite. If you have a King James that says dissembled I kind of like that old word dissembled because for a while they were assembled and the opposite of being assembled together is being dissembled dissembled apart and their dissimulation is they were together they were like brothers and sisters and now because of these this peer pressure that’s in the room they can’t even assemble together anymore. Though the word here is hupakritase, which is the word hypocrite, they were playing the hypocrite. They were playing a different part that they shouldn’t have been playing.
So they dissembled. But notice the word with here, especially in verse 13. The rest of the Jews played the hypocrite with him. It’s Peter’s fault. Peter started it. These Jews wouldn’t have done it, probably if Peter hadn’t got up from the table, if he hadn’t have done this first. And these Jews don’t have to say a thing. They know why they’re there. They’re judging everybody about their salvation because they’re not keeping the law.
Peter starts it and these Jews follow. But, and by the way, folks, your compromise of the gospel or of your Christian life is never to yourself. It will always affect other people. There are always those who see it. There are always those who ought to follow you.
There are always those who will be affected by your compromise, by your giving in to the world, by your doing something that is not right. And Peter can’t do this alone. Paul sees it from over here.
These Jews see it and they start doing the same thing. Not only that, but secondly, Barnabas is affected. And so Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy or their dissimulation. Barnabas? Now when Paul sees this, Barnabas, my partner, Barnabas, the one who went with me down and lectured these guys about salvation by faith alone, Barnabas, he gets up, he looks around a little bit. Everybody’s gone from the table.
These Jews are looking at him with scornful faces. He begins to walk and leave away. And at that time, I think, I think Paul put his cup down and said, that’s it, I can’t take any more than this.
So he doesn’t. So Paul notices. Now, I think Paul might have handled it on the QT had it just been Peter. In other words, if it hadn’t been noticed and hadn’t been affecting everyone in the room, he might’ve just taken Peter aside later and said, Peter, what are you doing? But now he sees it’s affecting everyone.
When it affects everyone, he just has to step in. So verse 14, 14 will begin, when I saw, and notice my last point, verse 14. Now we begin to get to his rebuke and notice the first word is because of the gospel.
Notice, when I saw that, what? They were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel. Now folks, we may be, we may have differences of opinion over a lot of other small things in the Christian life, but we can’t differ over the gospel. How can we preach the gospel?
How can we send out missionaries? How can we read our Bible and talk about salvation if we don’t agree over this? This is where Christians have always had to say, that’s the bottom line with me. If we’re gonna muddy up the gospel, I’m sorry, I can’t be a part of this.
And so Paul knew he couldn’t let this go. It had to be corrected. So notice they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel. They were being creepy about it.
They were just sneaking away a little bit about it. Straightforward means to walk a straight line, to be uprightly. Or we have Ephesians five, remember? See then that you walk what? Circumstantly, not as fools, but as wise. All of these expressions are, there’s a way to walk with the gospel and you cannot vary from it. I’d like to deviate for a while, but I won’t. But let me tell you, we may face the time in our own country, in our lifetime, that you will have to deviate from the gospel or suffer for it, which you’re gonna do. And the Jews were trying to make it that way in their day.
Praise the Lord, it didn’t have to happen like that. So the truth of the gospel, a denial of it, and these men were saying, you can’t eat with the Gentiles and be saved. Paul knew better.
So we have in verse 14, when he saw this, I said to Peter before them all. Tough thing. Again, he’s not as well known. He’s younger. He may have been shorter. He was not as handsome as Peter was. And this young upstart comes over and says right to Peter in his face, you are wrong. You can you imagine the hush that went over the room at that point? And it surely did.
And so because he was to be blamed in verse one, I said before them all. Now. Well, there are times when that has to happen. You remember Matthew chapter 18.
There are times when even after dealing with someone one on one or a few people together, there’s a time when then it has to be brought before everyone so that all will learn. And those instructions are there too. And that, you know, if you’re an apostle like Paul, you just go right to the source. You go right to this subject and he’s going to do it here. And you know what? We’re going to stop there and come back to the actual words that he says.
But I want you to notice this. We don’t have any further words from Peter. And as far as we know, Peter agreed. Peter knew better.
And he learned better. I want to read you some words from 2 Peter chapter 3, verse 15 and 16. 2 Peter chapter 3 is later when Peter writes his own inspired books.
Peter says this. Consider that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation. As also our beloved brother Paul.
Read that again. Peter saying later than this, our beloved brother Paul. According to the wisdom given to him as written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction as they do the rest of the scriptures. Here’s Peter saying he had to do that to me. And he was right.
I was out of line. I think it takes a big man to do that. I think it takes another big man to accept that.
Accept it as right. So we’re going to stop there. We’re going to come back to the beginning of the quotation in the middle of verse 14. And it goes all the way through verse 21.
Let me say a couple things then as we end these thoughts. You know, in 2 Timothy chapter 4, when Paul is writing the last chapter of his last book, he will say to Timothy, preach the word. And he’ll say, be instant in season, out of season, reproof, rebuke, and exhort with all long suffering.
I want to tell you this. The preaching of God’s word is rebuke to all of us. It’s reproof to all of us. It’s encouraging to all of us.
And one of the things God has ordained in the churches is for the word to be preached so that if it fits, you wear it. You know, William Carey, a great missionary, was also a cobbler. He fixed shoes. He made shoes.
And sometimes people describe this as being a cobbler preacher. You know, a man that makes shoes makes a pair of shoes. And if you come in to look at him and you try him on, if it fits, he says, buy it.
And if it doesn’t fit, he says, well, then don’t buy it. And when the preaching fits us, buy it. When the preaching of God’s word rebukes us, good. When it encourages us, good.
Whatever it takes for you, then accept it and do it. On the other hand, sometimes rebuked comes not publicly through preaching, but sometimes just a one-on-one, one person to another person. And if that happens, then accept it, make it right, and go on. And so, rebuked comes to us all in various different ways. Sometimes the middle of the night, God wakes you up and the Holy Spirit gets a hold of your heart and you can’t go back to sleep, right? In just different ways, God does it. And so praise the Lord for rebuked.
I’d rather be rebuked and go on being wrong. And so the word does that. God does that. The Holy Spirit does that. Sometimes friends do that to us. So let’s accept it like Peter did. And let’s be those kind of people. All right, stand now with me, if you will.
Appreciate the time. I can’t wait till next week to get into exactly what he says, because these are great verses about salvation being by faith alone and not by the works of the law. Let’s pray together.
Now, Father, thank you for this morning and thank you for this passage of Scripture we’ve read. A passage that stands out by itself. Yet inspired of the Holy Spirit because all Scripture is profitable for doctrine and reproof and correction and instruction and righteousness. So instruct us with these things. Maybe there’s something in this passage we see of ourselves that needs to be corrected. It helped us to do that.

And Father, maybe someone hearing my voice, as well as someone hearing the gospel being preached today, would realize that salvation is by grace, by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ and not by our own good works. I pray for the salvation of such people today. So Father, as we sing a song and as we open our hearts to you, speak to us in the way that we need. Move us to do the things, to think the right way, to confess what we need to confess before you. So bless as we do this and we’ll thank you for it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
We sing and our invitation is open as we sing. I’m always here at the front and when we’re done with the service, if you have a need, I’m still here at the front. You see me and let’s get that taken care of before the Lord today.

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