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Commentary » Galatians 1:11-Galatians 1:17 » Family-Times.net
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Paul’s Personal Testimony

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Bob Woods, in Pulpit Digest, tells the story of a couple who took their son, 11, and daughter, 7, to Carlsbad Caverns. As always, when the tour reached the deepest point in the cavern, the guide turned off all the lights to dramatize how completely dark and silent it is below the … More

Gospel

It seems that the Judaizers had called into question Paul’s authority to teach spiritual truths. Paul begins with a testimony of his past conduct as an unconverted Jewish rabbi (vv. 13-17). He tells how he loved religion but hated Christians and persecuted them. In fact it was religion that kept him from Christ for so long. Then something happened to him on the way to Damascus that turned his life completely around. This change did not come gradually, but it all happened suddenly and without warning (Acts 9:1-9). He had been on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians and a few days later he was in Damascus telling the Jews that the Christians were right.

In Paul’s day many Jews had difficulty understanding that God’s message is for Jews and Gentiles alike. They thought of all Gentiles as heathen. Some Jews even thought that Gentiles had to become Jews before they could become Christians. They avoided Gentiles, believing that contact with them would make them spiritually corrupt. He explains to them that he did not invent the gospel, nor did he receive it from men but he received it from Jesus Christ. The gospel Paul preached came directly from God, without the help of human instruction (vv. 11-12). Paul received his instruction from Christ personally, whereas, today God’s message to man is complete and comes to us through the Bible. We need to be on guard to any who  may claim to have received direct revelation from God as many cult leaders do today. The guiding principles for our life are found in the Word of God. In order to know His will for our life we must get to know His Word.

Application

It is always great to see someone who once was very hostile to Christianity become a follower of Jesus Christ?  No matter how opposed someone may be to the things of Christ, I should not shy away from them but be ready to witness to them and see how “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).

Galatians 1:11-17 (English Standard Version)

For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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