Are You Stuck?

Passage for Today

Galatians 2:11-21

 11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
Justified by Faith
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.


  1. Are you resisting Jesus because you feel you haven’t performed well enough? If you are a Christian, have you replaced your focus on Jesus with trying to please Him?
  2. Do you trust that as you follow Jesus He will direct you and make you who He wants you to be?
  3. What new insights did you learn from re-reading this passage and hearing Sunday's sermon?


By Newspring Church

From the time we are babies, we are rewarded for hard work. We are promised a toy if we don’t scream during the shopping trip. When we are brave at the doctor’s office, we get a sucker. Teachers reward good behavior with stickers. As we get older, we work hard for good grades to get into a great college. We bust it at work to earn the promotion. Our whole lives teach us that success is the result of following the rules and putting forth the effort.
Maybe that’s why grace is a hard concept to understand. If I’m messed up and sinful, I’m not deserving. There must be something I need to do for Jesus to accept me. And once I am His, there must be a good behavior chart. There must be a list of things I have to do to be a successful Christian.
This isn’t a new struggle. Galatians 2 describes Paul’s reaction to Peter falling into the performance trap. Peter had begun doing what was right in other’s eyes, shutting out a whole group of people in the process. In Galatians 2:21, Paul reminds us that following a list of rules or checking off a to-do list is not necessary: “... if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
We are made right with God through Jesus’ sacrifice.
We are made right with God through Jesus’ sacrifice. Period. Galatians 2:16 says, “a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.”
Peter was trying to follow man-made rules instead of the law God wrote on his heart. Focusing on a list of do’s and don’ts removes our focus from Jesus. When we decide to follow Jesus, He changes our heart. If we keep our focus on Him, He will guide our steps.

*  This devotion was found at titled “Are You Stuck in the Performance Trap?" by Newspring Church.

1 Comment

Steve Aldridge - September 18th, 2023 at 5:55pm

Great thoughts to remember always. No matter what we do, God is good.