Paul with the apostles
2 • 1 After fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and Titus came with us. 2 Following a revelation, I went to lay before them the Gospel that I am preaching to the pagans. I had a private meeting with the leaders—lest I should be working or have worked in a wrong way. 3 But they did not impose circumcision, not even on Titus who is Greek and who was with me. 4 But there were some intruders and false brothers who had gained access to watch over the way we live the freedom Christ has given us. They would have us enslaved by the Law, 5 but we refused to yield even for a moment; so that the truth of the Gospel remain intact for you.
6 The others, the more respectable leaders—it does not matter what they were before: God pays no attention to the status of a person—gave me no new instructions. 7 They recognized that I have been entrusted to give the Good News to the pagan nations, just as Peter has been entrusted to give it to the Jews. 8 In the same way that God made Peter the apostle of the Jews, he made me the apostle of the pagans.
9 James, Cephas and John acknowledged the graces God gave me. Those men who were regarded as the pillars of the Church stretched out their hand to me and Barnabas as a sign of fellowship; we would go to the pagans and they to the Jews. 10 We should only keep in mind the poor among them. I have taken care to do this.
The conflict with Peter
• 11 When later Cephas came to Antioch, I confronted him since he deserved to be blamed. 12 Before some of James’ people arrived, he used to eat with non-Jewish people. But when they arrived, he withdrew and did not mingle anymore with them, for fear of the Jewish group. 13 The rest of the Jews followed him in this pretense, and even Barnabas was part of this insincerity. 14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas publicly: If you who are Jewish agreed to live like the non-Jews, setting aside the Jewish customs, why do you now compel the non-Jews to live like Jews?
• 15 We are Jews by birth; we are not pagan sinners. 16 Yet we know that a person is justified not by practicing the law but by faith in Christ Jesus. So we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may receive true righteousness from faith in Christ Jesus, and not from the practices of the Law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.
17 Now, if in our own effort to be justified in Christ we ourselves have been found to be sinners, then Christ would be at the service of sin. Not so! 18 But look: if we do away with something and then restore it, we admit we did wrong.
19 As for me, the very Law brought me to die to the Law, that I may live for God. I am crucified with Christ. 20 Do I live? It is no longer me, Christ lives in me. My life in this body is life through faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 In this way I don’t ignore the gift of God, for, if justification comes through the practice of the Law, Christ would have died for nothing.
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