“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
King James Version (KJV)
2:21 Meantime I do not make void - In seeking to be justified by my own works. The grace of God - The free love of God in Christ Jesus. But they do, who seek justification by the law. For if righteousness is by the law - If men might be justified by their obedience to the law, moral or ceremonial. Then Christ died in vain - Without any necessity for it, since men might have been saved without his death; might by their own obedience have been both discharged from condemnation, and entitled to eternal life.
Ga 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God. "Make void", in the Revised Version. He would do so, if he went back to the Jewish law, and trusted in it. If it gave righteousness, then the gospel was not needed, and "Christ died in vain". NOTE.--The account in this chapter of Paul's visit to Jerusalem, and of his controversy with Peter, is utterly inconsistent with the Romish doctrine of the supremacy of Peter. No Pope could or would allow a bishop or cardinal to "rebuke him openly", as Paul did Peter. So, too, the reference of the controversy in Acts 15, to "the apostles and elders" (Ac 15:6), instead of to Peter, and the final judgment of James, which was received, contradict the Vatican system. Indeed, the doctrine of popedom is utterly inconsistent with the whole tenor of the Acts, and the Pauline Epistles. This meeting at Antioch is the last between Peter and Paul of which the New Testament gives record. Early church tradition, however, reports that they met once in Rome, where they were tried and condemned on the same day, and then parted, Peter to be crucified on the hill of the Janiculum, and Paul, the Roman citizen, to be beheaded at the Three Fountains on the Ostian Way. Could we rely upon this tradition it would seem fitting that the two greatest apostles, of the Circumcision and of the Uncircumcision, should lay down their burdens together and go side by side to report their work to their common Lord.