But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 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. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. (Galatians 2:11-13 ESV)
In this text we find that Peter, the leader of the apostles, is not above rebuke. If Peter is not above rebuke, how much less are we above rebuke? It is hard to have someone tell you that you’re in sin. It’s humbling and embarrassing. As a result there is an immediate inclination to defend yourself so that your sense of personal righteousness and your reputation can remain intact. But it is not our righteousness that has bearing on our status with God. It is Christ’s righteousness. Remembering this, as Peter was reminded, is the key to not crumbling when rebuked. The gospel, the gospel, the gospel!
Lord, forgive me for thinking I am above rebuke and must maintain my reputation before people in your church or people in my social circles. I have a fear of man; a desire to be approved of by others and this keeps me from the means of grace that church discipline (rebuke) provides! Grant me a gospel view toward my own humility.