The Ground is Level
The Community of the Free (part 9) | Earlier in this letter, Paul recounted an incident that happened at the church in Antioch. The church in Antioch had both Jews and Gentiles (a Gentile was anyone who wasn’t a Jew… it included broadly people who may have been religious, pagans or “nones”). One day Simon Peter visited Antioch from Jerusalem, and even though he was a Jew, he ate with Gentiles, and even enjoyed a few pork chops. However, when some Jewish Christians from the church in Jerusalem visited, Peter changed his behavior. Suddenly he refused to eat with Gentiles, and he enforced the dietary laws of the O.T. Paul confronted Peter to his face (see 2:11), to both of his faces, actually! Then Paul devotes the rest of this letter reminding them that salvation is by grace alone. The O.T. gave favored status to the Jews and considered Gentiles unclean. But the N.T. teaches that the Ground is Level at the foot of the cross.