Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
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.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
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 the Jews?
Peter knew that the Gentiles were no longer to be considered unclean (Acts 10:9-16), and he demonstrated this by eating with them. However, when some prominent Jews arrived, Peter “withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.” He knew better but allowed fear to cause him to rebel against the clear teachings of the Lord. As such, Peter “was to be blamed” (Galatians 2:11), and Paul had to rebuke him. It is one thing for a man to sin against the Lord through ignorance, but Peter knowingly, purposely, and openly violated God’s word. In like manner, believers today must bear the blame and the shame when they sin against the clear teachings of scripture.
• (For children): Adam and Eve went against the clear teachings of God. Instead of taking responsibility for their own sin, they blamed others (Genesis 3:11-13). King Saul did the same thing (1 Samuel 15:1-3, 13-15, 22-23). We need to confess our own sins (Psalm 32:5). Remember that God already knows what we have done (Proverbs 15:3).
• (For everyone): Have you purposely and knowingly sinned against the clear teachings of scripture? Have you confessed your sin and repented of that sin before the Lord?
• How often do you willingly fess up to the blame that is yours when you sin against the Lord? Do others have to declare your sin, or do you own up to it on your own?
• Ask the Lord to protect you from known sin.
• Ask God to give you a desire to be blameless.
SONG: CLEANSE ME