My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the Law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulation.
How would you like the assignment of confronting someone who had personally traveled with Jesus, walked on water, experienced both the crucifixion and the resurrection and was in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came in power? That’s one tough job! But that’s the task God gave Paul to do!
It seems that when Peter first came to Antioch he regularly ate with Gentile Christians who were uncircumcised. But after some “devout Jews” came from Jerusalem and demanded that all Gentiles convert still had to be circumcised, Peter caved in under pressure. And immediately stopped hanging out with the new Christians.
So Paul publicly confronted Peter’s hypocrisy and asked him as someone who lived under the Law for years, why would he be willing to put that burden on these Gentile brothers? Eventually, Peter came to his senses and repented.
Most people hate conflict. Yet, every once in a while, there’s too much at stake not to confront someone, even if it’s a dear brother or sister. Is there a Christian friend in your life who’s heading for disaster? If there is, take time asking God if this is your assignment. Then, ask Him to give you courage to gently restore your friend. While you’re praying, you may want to ask how you’ve strayed and ask for forgiveness as well!
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To learn more about Biblical fasting, check out our Fasting Guide.