It is important to recognise that right theological understanding enables us to live rightly; that is, what we believe about God should affect how we act. Paul made it clear to Peter that he was acting inconsistently. They both believed that it was through Christ's death that they could now stand uncondemned before God, but Peter had compromised by acting like a Jew again when they were rubbing shoulders with him. We can see here the painful movement of Christianity to free itself from the ties of Judaism. It and the Christian faith have many similarities, such as regarding the Old Testament as a sacred book and worshipping Jehovah God as Almighty Creator. Where Judaism and Christianity separate is over the person of Jesus. Most people say good things about Him, but Christians worship Him as co-equal with God.
For Paul it was especially important that there be clear space between Christianity and Judaism. If he was to re-erect the whole fabric of the Law in his life, what Jesus had done when he met with him on the Damascus road would be a waste of time. He had devoted his life to obedience to the Law, but had experienced complete desolation upon recognising that whatever he did could not put him right with God. The Law had shown him his own utter helplessness! The life at peace with God can only be attained by casting oneself on the love and mercy of God through Jesus Christ.
Please constantly remind yourself that it is not that God is at war with us and Jesus provides the protection from Him! Many Christians, if they work through their theology, believe this.
At Bearfield we have a Bible verse on the front wall of our church: 'Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness'. The church I grew up in also had a Bible verse on its front wall and it was from 1 John 4 v 14: 'The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world'.
The Father and the Son in total union, total agreement with each other. Father God loves you completely and reaches out to you, calling: ''My beloved one''.