A: To understand what the Apostle Paul means by these
terms, we must comprehend the context of the book of
Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly
according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before [them]
all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and
not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do
Galatians 2:14 “…If you a Jew are made alive (justified) as are the
Gentile (Christians), and not as are the Jews, why do you urge (by
your actions) the Gentiles to be made alive (justified) in the
The subject of Galatians begins with chapter 2, verse 11
and continues through Galatians 6:10. The focus of the
book is “Justification by means of faith versus
Justification by the works of the law”. We observe that
Paul introduces this theme early in his discussion – only
two verses after Galatians 2:14. In reality, he
introduced the theme in verse 14, when one gets the
translation correct; however, the idea does not clearly
surface in the KJV until verse 16. Moreover, Paul
discusses this topic in most of his other writings:
Observe, especially, Hebrews 10:4.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of
the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in
Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and
not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no
flesh be justified.
Hebrews 10:4 For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of
goats should take away sins.
In other words, in Galatians 2:14, Paul said to Peter,
“You are a Jew and you are made alive (justified)
according to the manner of a <converted> Gentile”. In
other words, Peter knew that he did not have to go
down to the temple and offer sacrifices, for his
justification, as a means to obtaining eternal life. From
the beginning, the gospel to the Gentiles was that
justification came by faith for sins that are past. The
Jews who came down from James caused Peter to act
in fear – he was afraid he would offend them; therefore,
he acted according to what he knew they would expect
of him rather than acting in harmony with the Gospel of
Galatians 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did
eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and
separated himself, fearing them, which were of the circumcision
Observe what Paul said about these Jews; they did not
walk (live their lives) according to the truth of the
gospel. In other words, they were continuing to live
their lives according to the justification system of the
Old Covenant – sacrifices of animals at the temple.
They were trying to mix grace for justification, with the
works of the law; they practiced a combination of
Judaism, the Law of Moses, and Christianity. We learn
more about this sect in the book of Acts.
Galatians 2:14 But when I saw (perceived) that they walked not
uprightly according to the truth of the gospel...
Acts 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees,
which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them,
and to command [them] to keep the law of Moses.
Just a little later in the book of Galatians, Paul specifies
the law that concerned him; it was a law added because
of transgressions until Christ should come. This can be
none other than the sacrificial justification system of the
Old Covenant that Christ replaced by the faith
justification system of the New Covenant! The phrase
“it was added because of transgressions” indicates that
another law existed to which they had been unfaithful.
We know that law, as the Ten Commandments; it
Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added
because of transgressions, until the seed (Christ) should come to
whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in
the hand of a mediator.
1John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:
for sin is the transgression of the law.
Paul took advantage of Peter’s wrong approach as an
opportunity to preach a sermon about his favorite
subject: The transition from “Justification by the Law”
to “Justification by the Faith of Christ”. We should not
overlook that justification has to do with past sins – it
never has to do with whether we should live our lives
according to the Law of God. In other words, Paul
spoke concerning the sacrificial Law of Moses (Sin
Offerings and Trespass Offerings) rather than the Law
of God (The Ten Commandments).
Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things,
from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Paul understood that the “Works of the Law” – the
laborious sacrifices (the justification system) of the Old
Covenant – could never result in cleansing one from
sin. Justification (setting one right) could come only by
means of the sacrifice of Christ – and that by faith.
By separating himself from the Gentiles, with these
particular Jews, Peter was saying – by his actions – that
the Jews, who continued in the temple worship, were
superior to the Gentiles who did not conduct their lives
according to the temple worship of the Jews. Paul
perceived Peter’s dishonesty and set the record
straight, for those present as well as for the rest of God’
s people from that time forward.
The one thing we do not want to misunderstand is that
Paul preached here about only one perspective of
righteousness. There are two modes of righteousness;
and each mode has its place in God’s plan for man.
1) Righteousness (without the law) - Justification: When
one sins, no law can undo what he has done. He has
accomplished the damage; it is past, done, behind him.
Only faith in the sacrifice of Christ can rectify the past
damage – in other words, this righteousness comes by
justification. This type of righteousness is the main
subject of the book of Galatians.
2) Righteousness by the Law: Paul mentions this type of
righteousness in most of his writings, including
Galatians. However, many confound Paul’s teachings
into one type of righteousness. This leads to utter
confusion and makes his writings a farce. The very
reason that God gives us His holy spirit is for living a
righteous life. However, it is most important that we
understand that one does not build righteous character
by means of justification; this indicates to us the reason
for another means of righteousness – righteousness by
living according to the law of God. This means of
righteousness is impossible without the holy spirit.
However, with the spirit of God, man has the ability to
refrain from sin (verify the word <cannot> in 1John 3:9
in the Greek). The Greek has two words rather than
one, as the KJV translation indicates. Cannot sin = Can
(has the ability to) Not (refrain from) sin.
1John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God (has His spirit) doth not
commit sin (as the new man); for his (God’s) seed (spirit)
remaineth in him (the man): and he (the man) cannot (has the
ability to refrain from) sin, because he (the man) is born of God
(has God’s spirit).
The above verse is a mystery that the world cannot
understand; the English translations of this verse testify
to this fact. Nevertheless, it is impossible for man to
live a righteous life, without the spirit of God. On the
other hand, God does not live our life for us, the spirit
of God leads us and guides us into living our life in the
right direction – according to the Covenant of God – the
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good
to them that love God, to them who are the called according to
1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his
commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will
guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but
whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew
you things to come.
Moreover, if this were not true, what is the purpose of
man? If God does everything for us, why did He make
us physical beings? Why does God give us His spirit
now rather than waiting until the resurrection? In other
words, is salvation a spectator sport? Do we just sit on
the sidelines and watch God play the game of life while
we live according to the way of Satan? Impossible!
Paul addresses this issue in this same sermon to the
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are
these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of
the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past,
that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
To resume, Paul, speaking from the perspective of
Righteousness by Justification said to Peter, “By your
actions of separating from the Gentiles you teach that
the Gentiles should copy the Jews by looking to the
temple sacrifices for their justification”. In other words,
Peter gave the impression, by his actions, that the
Jews, who did not understand the sacrifice of Christ:
The only means of justification – were superior to the
Gentiles. Paul would have none of it, for he devoted his
entire life to preaching the transition from justification
by the sacrifices of animals to justification by the
sacrifice of Christ.
1Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among
you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Paul’s message was mainly to correct the perception of
the Jews of his day who had to cross the divide
between the two systems of justification. The Greeks
found such teaching foolish; some Gentiles accepted
Paul’s message, but a few of the Jews tried to confuse
the issue, by clinging to the Old Covenant method of
1Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a
stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
Unfortunately, Satan has used Paul’s writings to create
a message of confusion concerning eternal life rather
than how God corrects for a wrong past. This has
resulted in a gospel of antinomianism – living how one
wants to and expecting God to make up the difference:
The doctrine of eternal security.
Paul’s core message was not about how to live, but how
to rectify past sin. How to live – righteousness by the
law – did not change from the Old to the New Covenant.
God did not find fault with His law; the fault was with the
people. In other words, one did not automatically
receive the spirit of God as part of the Old Covenant.
However, in the Old Covenant, the Israelites
accomplished justification – typically – with animal
sacrifices – the Law of Moses. One can see how
difficult the transition – from laboring with sacrifices at
the temple to simply praying and asking God to forgive
one in the name of Yahshua the Messiah – could be in
the minds of the Jews of Paul’s time.
Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days
come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the
house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Therefore, Paul said that Peter “lived his life” – as far as
justification was concerned – like the Gentiles. The
Jews that had come down from James were still “living
their lives” – as far as justification was concerned – as
they always had: like the Jews. In essence, Paul
queried Peter: Do you want the Gentiles to become like
the Jews and make their daily lives one of trying to
justify themselves according to the sacrifices of the
We know that God allowed the destruction of the temple
in 70AD. By this time, 40 years (a period of testing)
after the death of Christ, the temple had become such
an obstacle to the Jews that no rationalization
continued for its existence. The destruction of the
temple showed once for all time that faith in the
sacrifice of Christ is the only means for humanity to
receive justification from his past sins.
As for Paul’s writings, one needs a good foundation of
understanding the bible before he begins studying
them. Observe what Peter said concerning Paul’s
2Peter 3:15 And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is]
salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the
wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in
which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are
unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other
scriptures, unto their own destruction.
James wrote to correct some who had come to the
wrong conclusion concerning whether salvation is only
a matter of faith. He stated three times that faith
without works is dead. Undoubtedly some preached in
his day that salvation did not require that one live
righteously, in order to be a Christian.
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without
works is dead?
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith
without works is dead also.
Faith, however, is two-pronged. 1) Faith in the sacrifice
of Christ for justification of our past sins – the subject
of most of Paul’s writings, and 2) Faith that God has
kept His promise concerning His spirit so that we have
the ability to live according to the Ten Commandments.
Hebrews 8:10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws
into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them
a God, and they shall be to me a people:
With God’s spirit, we have a mind and heart to keep His
Covenant – the Ten Commandments.
The Conclusion: In Galatians 2:14, Paul spoke
concerning being made alive, by one of the two methods
of justification: 1) As the converted Gentiles had
received concerning the gospel of Christ – by faith; or
2) As the Jews had understood under the Old Covenant
– by works. Today, we have no reason to confuse the
issue because God allowed the destruction of the
temple – erasing any vestige of doubt in the mind of the
|A Jew living in the manner of a
A Gentile living in the manner of a
Q: WHAT DID THE APOSTLE
PAUL MEAN BY THE TERMS: