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Letters of Peter

Nobody is infallible, not even church leaders

“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned”. (Galatians 2:11)

Today’s text tells us how Paul opposed Cephas (better known as Peter, the apostle), because “he stood condemned”. In this case, Cephas knew very well that non-Jewish believers didn’t need to keep the Jewish laws, and that there was no need for Jewish believers to distance themselves from these Gentiles. But he nevertheless did, fearing a group of people who didn’t agree with him. That was hypocritical behavior, confusing others because this “conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14).

All this was particularly harmful because Peter was one of the major church leaders. Other believers “acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy” (Galatians 2:13). If a church leader doesn’t live in step with the truth of the gospel, the whole church is seriously endangered.

Nobody is infallible, not even church leaders. Not a person, but only God’s Word has the ultimate authority. Whenever a believer “stands condemned”, he or she should be confronted lovingly but clearly — no matter what his or her position within the church is.

Are you open to correction from fellow believers, if their concerns are Bible-based?

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Grietje Commelin

Grietje Commelin

Grietje studied theology and mastered in Bible Translation. Next to being a mother, she supports GlobalRize by writing bible reflections and other content for GlobalRize.

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Nobody is infallible, not even church leaders