Galatians 2:11-21 (NIV)
Paul Opposes Cephas
11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? 15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. 17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker. 19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Have you ever opposed a boss? What was the outcome?
Lord, conflict is never easy. In today’s world, it seems like everyone is in conflict. It doesn’t matter what you say or what you do and someone disagrees, objects, is offended by, or makes fun of it. Some people are hiding their opinions and not speaking out because of potential harassment. Others who express their opinions are emotionally, socially, and physically persecuted because they have different feelings or beliefs. But that doesn’t give us permission to ignore sin and evil because we are afraid. You do not promote sin. If I stand with You, I can’t promote it either. Give me the strength and confidence to stand firm on Your Word and in my belief in You. Let me respect authority but not blindly concede when that authority goes against Your Word. Allow me to openly declare Your Word and not be afraid to speak Your truth even at the risk of persecution. I have put my faith in You that I may be justified in Christ. I am also a sinner and not always correct in my interpretation of things. Let me be open to receive opinions that come from different perspectives but allow me to recognize when those opinions are in contrast with Your Word. I ask for Your forgiveness and guidance. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And I now boldly live by faith in You, who loved me and gave Your life for me. I don’t turn my back on Your undeserved kindness. Help me to be gracious and loving to those who have opinions that differ from mine, but give me the boldness to speak against words and deeds that blatantly defy Your Word. Allow others to be impacted by the stance of courage and recognize the power in Your love. I love You Lord, and I stand firm in my faith for You. I trust that You are with me, through all things. Amen