1 Fourteen years later I went to Jerusalem again. This time I went with Barnabas and I took Titus with me.
2 God showed me that I should go. And I told them about the good news which I tell to people who are not Jews. I told those who seemed to be church leaders when I was alone with them. I did not want my work to come to nothing-the work I had done or the work I was doing.
3 Titus was with me. He was not a Jew, but they did not force him to be circumcised <FI>have the mark of a Jew made on his body<Fi> .
4 But some men got in who were not true brothers. They came in secretly to spy on us to find out things about us. They did not want us to be free the way Christ Jesus has made us free. But they wanted to make us obey the old laws again <FI>which were given to Moses by God<Fi> .
5 But we did not let them tell us what to do, no, not even for one minute. In that way the real good news will be yours always.
6 Those men who seemed to be leaders did not teach me anything new. It does not matter to me who they were. God does not love some people more than others.
7 No, the leaders saw that God called me to take the good news to those who are not circumcised <FI>not Jews<Fi> , just as he called Peter to take the good news to those who are circumcised <FI>Jews<Fi> .
8 The same God who made Peter an apostle to the Jews made me an apostle to those who are not Jews.
9 The leaders saw that God had blessed me. James, Peter, and John seemed to be leaders in the church. They saw that God had blessed me. So they accepted Barnabas and me as fellow workers. They agreed that we should go to the people who were not Jews and they themselves would go to the Jews.
10 One thing they asked us to do was to help the poor Christians. I was very glad to do this.
11 One day Peter came to the city of Antioch. Then I had to tell him face to face that he had done wrong. He really was wrong!
12 Here is what happened. Peter ate with those who were not Jews. Then some men came whom James had sent. When they came he stopped eating with those who were not Jews. He was afraid of what the Jews might think.
13 All the other Jewish Christians did the same as Peter did. They acted as if it was not right to eat with those who were not Jews. Even Barnabas did the same.
14 But I saw they were not doing right. They were not obeying the true teaching of the good news. So I said to Peter in front of them all, You are a Jew. But you live the way people do who are not Jews. How then can you force those who are not Jews to live the way the Jews do?
15 We ourselves were born Jews. We are not of those who still follow wrong ways, those who are not Jews.
16 Yet we know that God does not call a man good because he tries to obey the law of the Jews. But we know that God puts a man right because he believes in Jesus Christ. So we also believed in Jesus Christ. And we are put right with God because we believe in Christ and not because we obey the law. No person will ever be called good by God just because he tries to obey the law of the Jews.
17 We came to Christ to be put right with God. That showed us how much we had been bad men. Was it Christ who made us bad men? No, surely not!
18 If I build up again what I once broke down, I do wrong.
19 Through the law I died. Now the law has no power over me so that I may live for God.
20 I died when Christ died on a cross. I do not live now, but Christ lives in me. Now while I still live in my body, I live by believing in the Son of God. He loved me and gave himself for me.
21 So I do not make the love of God useless. But if a person can be made good by the law, then Christ died for nothing.