Paul the Apostle : His Feud With Peter

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Family Meal Discussion

Greeting + Meal

Take the first 45 minutes to gather into the home, share some food, listen to each other.


Transition from the dining table to a more relaxed area, like the living room, if possible.

This weeks story to share:

    So we have been in this series of messages talking about Paul the Apostle. A man who’s life was forever changed by Jesus and a life that went about helping others experience the same thing. We have talked about his testimony, his calling, his marriages, and today we are going to talk about “His Feud With Peter.”

    Peter and Paul had a feud centered around some things that I want to expound on from this portion of Scripture.

    Later, when Peter came to Antioch, I had a face-to-face confrontation with him because he was clearly out of line. Here’s the situation. Earlier, before certain persons had come from James, Peter regularly ate with the non-Jews. But when that conservative group came from Jerusalem, he cautiously pulled back and put as much distance as he could manage between himself and his non-Jewish friends. That’s how fearful he was of the conservative Jewish clique that’s been pushing the old system of circumcision. Unfortunately, the rest of the Jews in the Antioch church joined in that hypocrisy so that even Barnabas was swept along in the charade.

    But when I saw that they were not maintaining a steady, straight course according to the Message, I spoke up to Peter in front of them all: “If you, a Jew, live like a non-Jew when you’re not being observed by the watchdogs from Jerusalem, what right do you have to require non-Jews to conform to Jewish customs just to make a favorable impression on your old Jerusalem cronies?”

    We Jews know that we have no advantage of birth over “non-Jewish sinners.” We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it—and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good.

    Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous. If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.

    What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily. (Galatians 2:11-21 msg)

    Peter may not have consciously said that we are right with God by our works, but subconsciously, that is where this decision to distant himself from eating with “gentiles”, when these religious people came on the scene, came from.

    Peter knew this wasn't right in his head, the Lord revealed this to him before:

    Talking things over, they went on into the house, where Cornelius introduced Peter to everyone who had come. Peter addressed them, “You know, I’m sure that this is highly irregular. Jews just don’t do this—visit and relax with people of another race. But God has just shown me that no race is better than any other. So the minute I was sent for, I came, no questions asked. But now I’d like to know why you sent for me.”(Acts 10:27-29 msg)

    If Righteousness came by the law, Christ died in vain

    Paul confronts Peter about putting Jewish rules, and customs on these new Christians in Antioch.

    One of those rules was circumcision. These Jewish Christians felt like, If Gentiles were going to be saved, they needed to be circumcised (Because that was the sign in the old testament you belonged to God).

    When you favor certain people, you end up denying Jesus!

    People do this in church all the time. Maybe it's to the poor, or some skin color, or someone who doesn't worship Jesus the same as you.

    Paul was Pastoring this work in Antioch, and this move of God was happening to these people that were far from God, and not ones, the religious people would say, it should be… But the same Jesus who died for Peter and Paul died for them, that's why Paul writes:

    In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises. (Galatians 3:28-29 msg)

    We are all equal. That eliminates religious Pride & Discrimination.

3 Things Paul and Peter’s Feud Was About

  1. How Someone Gets Right With God
    How does someone get right with God?

  2. How Someone Can Add Rules To The Gospel
    Have you been adding rules to the Gospel? If so, what?

  3. How Someone Can Have Religious Pride & Discrimination In Their Heart
    How do we as a community keep from having a pride and showing discrimination?

Closing + Goodbyes

Ask if anyone has additional thoughts or questions about the story or points. Close with an appropriate prayer time based on the faith level of those there tonight.

DNA Group Discussion

What's a DNA Group?

DISCOVER (PRE-WORK) Before and while you read these passages ask the Spirit of God to illuminate your heart and mind and bring conviction and clarity of his truth for your life. Take some time during your own personal study to read through these four key questions:

Scripture to study this week: Galatians 2:11-21, Acts 10:27-29, & Galatians 3:28-29

1. Who is God (what does this passage tell me about God’s character)?
2. What Has God Done (how do I see God’s character in action here)?
3. Who Am I (How does God’s character and action shape how I see myself)?
4. What Do I Do (if I believe 1-3 how would I respond and relate to others)?

QUESTION: What did you DISCOVER during your study?

NURTURE Confess out loud to one another areas of personal struggle or unbelief that the Spirit revealed during your personal study.

In light of this week’s sermon, consider these questions together:

  1. How does someone get right with God?
  2. Have you been adding rules to the Gospel? If so, what?
  3. How do we as a community keep from having a pride and showing discrimination?

QUESTION: How will you REPENT and BELIEVE the gospel?

ACT In light of your time together, what steps will you take to act on your new discoveries and affirmed beliefs?

Consider these questions:

1. What is a tangible way that you can bear witness to the gospel in your school, workplace or neighborhood this week?

2. How can you demonstrate God’s involvement in your life? How can you be more aware of it and draw attention to it?

QUESTION: What will you DO and who will you TELL about what God has done?


© 2016 Saturate. Some rights reserved. You are free to use, remix, and build upon this work non-commercially if you attribute “”.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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