In this chapter the apostle proceeds with the narrative of himself, and
gives an account of another journey of his to Jerusalem, where he had a
conversation with the chief of the apostles; in which they approved of
his ministry, allowed of his commission, and took him into fellowship
with them, but gave him no new instructions, nor added to his spiritual
light and knowledge; from whence it appeared that the Gospel he
preached was not after men, or received from men, as he had asserted in
the preceding chapter; and he also gives an account of his meeting with
Peter at Antioch, and how he reproved him for some judaizing practices;
which leads him to assert the doctrine of justification by faith, in
opposition to the works of the law; which is the grand point he had in
view to establish in this epistle, and which he vindicates from the
charge of licentiousness. He begins with an account of another journey
of his to Jerusalem, the circumstances of which he relates, as the time
when, fourteen years ago; the persons he took with him as his
companions, Barnabas and Titus, \\#Ga 2:1\\ what moved him to it, a
revelation from God; and the business he did when come thither, he
communicated the Gospel, and that not to any but to such that were of
reputation, and not publicly but privately; his end was, that it might
appear how successful he had been in his ministry, and had not laboured
in vain, \\#Ga 2:2\\ then follows a narrative of a particular event
relating to Titus, who is described as one of his companions, and by
his nation, a Greek; and who though an uncircumcised person, yet the
apostles and elders at Jerusalem did not oblige him to be circumcised,
which showed that they were of the same mind with the apostle in this
point, \\#Ga 2:3\\ and the reason of it was because of the false
teachers, that they might not give them any handle; who are described
by their character, false brethren, by their private manner of getting
in among the saints, and by their ends and views, which were to spy out
their Christian liberty and bring them into bondage, \\#Ga 2:4\\ to
whom the apostle opposed himself, and would not give way for the least
space of time; for this end, that the truth of the Gospel might
continue with the Gentiles, \\#Ga 2:5\\ and as for the apostles, though
they were men of great character and reputation, nor would the apostle
detract from it; yet they added nothing to him, he received nothing
from them, \\#Ga 2:6\\ but, on the other hand, partly because they saw
that as the Gospel to be preached to the Jews was committed to Peter,
so the same Gospel to be preached to the Gentiles was committed to
Paul; and partly because of the same efficacy and success in the
ministry of the one as in the ministry of the other; as also because
they perceived what gifts of grace were bestowed on the apostle; they
gave to him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, as a token of
their mutual agreement, and as being of the same society, \\#Ga 2:7-9\\
nor did they give him and Barnabas anything in charge, but only to
remember the poor, to which he was forward enough of himself, \\#Ga 2:10\\
after which follows an account of an opposition made by the apostle to
Peter, which was done at Antioch, and to his face, and not without
reason, \\#Ga 2:11\\ for whereas some time before he ate with the
Gentiles, which was commendable in him, he afterwards declined
conversation with them, moved to it by fear of the converted Jews,
\\#Ga 2:12\\ and such was the force of his example, that other Jews,
who before did not scruple eating with the Gentiles, separated
likewise, and even Barnabas himself, Paul's companion, \\#Ga 2:13\\
wherefore seeing this was not walking according to the Gospel of
Christ, and with that integrity and uprightness which became such
persons, the apostle publicly reproved Peter, and expostulated with
him; partly on account of his former conversation with the Gentiles,
though he himself was a Jew, and therefore it was absurd and
contradictory in him to oblige the Gentiles to live as the Jews did,
\\#Ga 2:14\\ and partly on account of the ledge which he and Peter and
others who were Jews, and not sinners of the Gentiles, had of the
doctrine of justification; that it was not by the works of the law, but
by faith in Christ; for to this end they had believed in Christ that
they might be justified, not by the one, but by the other; which
doctrine is confirmed by a passage referred to in \\#Ps 149:2 Ga 2:5,16\\
and whereas it might be objected that this doctrine of free
justification opened a door to licentiousness, the apostle answers to
it by an abhorrence of it, \\#Ga 2:17\\ and by observing that this
would build up what he had destroyed, \\#Ga 2:18\\ besides, he argues
the contrary from his being dead to the law, that he might live unto
God, \\#Ga 2:19\\ and from his crucifixion with Christ, and of the old
man with his deeds; and from Christ's living in him, and his living by
faith upon him, \\#Ga 2:20\\ and for the further confirmation of the
doctrine of justification being by faith, and not by works, he
suggests, were it otherwise, both the grace of God would be frustrated
and made void, and the death of Christ be in vain, \\#Ga 2:21\\.