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The Other Apostles Accepted Paul

2 1After 14 years, I went to Jerusalem again. I went with Barnabas, and I took Titus with me. 2I went because God showed me that I should go. I went to those men who were the leaders [of the believers]. When we were alone, I told these men the Good News* I tell to the non-Jewish people. [I wanted these men to understand my work], so that my past work and the work I do now would not be wasted. 3-4Titus was with me. Titus is a Greek (non-Jew). But these leaders did not force even Titus to be circumcised.* [We needed to talk about these problems], because some false brothers had come into our group secretly. They came in like spies to find out about the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. 5But we did not agree with anything those false brothers wanted! We wanted the truth of the Good News to continue for you. 6Those men who seemed to be important did not change the Good News* message I tell people. (It doesn't matter to me if they were "important" or not. To God all men are the same.) 7But these leaders saw that God had given me a special work, the same as Peter.* God gave Peter the work of telling the Good News to the Jews. But God gave me the work of telling the Good News to the non-Jewish people. 8God gave Peter the power to work as an apostle.* Peter is an apostle for the Jewish people. God gave me the power to work as an apostle too. But I am an apostle for the people who are not Jews. 9James, Peter, and John seemed to be the leaders. They saw that God had given me this special grace (gift). So they accepted Barnabas and me. Peter, James, and John said, "Paul and Barnabas, we agree that you should go to the people who are not Jews. We will go to the Jews." 10They asked us to do only one thing--to remember to help the poor people. And this was something that I really wanted to do.

Paul Shows that Peter Was Wrong

11Peter came to Antioch. He did something that was not right. I was against Peter, because he was wrong. 12This is what happened: When Peter first came to Antioch, he ate and associated with the non-Jewish people. But then some Jewish men came from James. When these Jewish men came, Peter stopped eating with the non-Jewish people. Peter separated himself from the non-Jews. He was afraid of the Jews who believe that all non-Jewish people must be circumcised.* 13So Peter was a hypocrite.* The other Jewish believers joined with Peter. So they were hypocrites too. Even Barnabas was influenced by the things these Jewish believers did. 14I saw what these Jews did. They were not following the truth of the Good News.* So I spoke to Peter in a way that all the other Jews could hear what I said. This is what I said: "Peter, you are a Jew. But you don't live like a Jew. You live like a non-Jew. So why do you now force the non-Jewish people to live like Jews?" 15We Jews were not born as non-Jews and sinners. We were born as Jews. 16We know that a person is not made right with God by following the law.* No! It is trusting in Jesus Christ that makes a person right with God. So we have put our faith in Christ Jesus, because we wanted to be made right with God. And we are right with God because we trusted in Christ--not because we followed the law. [This is true] because no person can be made right with God by following the law. 17We Jews came to Christ to be made right with God. So it is clear that we were sinners too. Does this mean that Christ makes us sinners? No! 18But I would really be wrong to begin teaching again those things (the law) that I gave up. 19I stopped living for the law. It was the law that killed me. I died to the law so that I can now live for God. I (my old life) was killed on the cross with Christ. 20So the life that I live now is not really me--it is Christ living in me. I still live in my body, but I live by faith in the Son of God (Jesus). Jesus is the One who loved me. He gave himself to save me. 21This gift is from God, and it is very important to me. Why? Because if law could make us right with God, then Christ did not have to die.

Good News The news that God has made a way for people to have their sins forgiven and live with him forever. circumcised To have the foreskin cut off. This was done to every Jewish baby boy. It was a mark of the agreement God made with Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14). Peter The text says, "Cephas," the Jewish name for Peter. He was one of Jesus' twelve apostles. apostles The men Jesus chose to represent him in a special way. hypocrites Bad people that act like they are good. law God's law. It is represented in the law of Moses.

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