This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Daily Devotional | What Peter Learned from Paul

Devotions

What can we learn from our disagreements? In today’s passage, we’re given a front row seat to a conflict between Peter and Paul. But while their disagreement was great, so was the learning that resulted! Earlier, Paul had taught Peter and other leaders about God’s acceptance of the Gentiles (Gal. 2:1–4). This wasn’t the first time Peter had learned this lesson. In Acts 10, he’d seen a vision of a sheet holding unclean animals. A voice told him, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (Acts 10:15). As a result, Peter had gone to the house of Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and preached the gospel. Peter concluded: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism” (Acts 10:34). So, he really had no excuse for his actions in today’s reading.

What happened? Peter (also called Cephas) had been sharing a meal with Gentiles, but when some church representatives arrived, he stopped. Why? He feared their criticism. Even worse, his self-protecting choice led other Jews to do the same (Gal. 2:12–13). When Paul saw “they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel” (v. 14), he publicly confronted Peter. The gospel was too important to let such behavior slide.

What did Peter learn? He was reminded (again) that salvation was for both Jews and Gentiles. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). But that wasn’t all! He learned not to act based on others’ opinion and to accept correction with humility. He learned about the purity of the gospel (vv. 15–16) and that the gospel is an everyday way of life (vv. 19–21).

>> We may struggle with how to disagree. Either we “shout” on social media, or we “make nice” and ignore important issues. What can we learn about handling disagreements (especially with fellow believers) from today’s passage?

Pray with Us

Anger, fear, or bad motives often spur us to attack those who sin or prompt us to avoid confrontation. Guide us in love, truth, and righteousness, Lord, when we must confront others about their sin.

BY Brad Baurain

Bradley Baurain is Associate Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has just published his first book, On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month