The true gospel message is one that offers us freedom from the enemy and the power to change by God’s grace. There is no greater example of this than in the life and testimony of the Apostle Paul.
In today’s passage, and throughout the book of Galatians, Paul defends his ministry and the message of Christ. He knows that there are false teachers who are twisting God’s Word and presenting it as the true gospel message. Paul’s righteous anger fuels his letter to the churches. He reminds them of his testimony and who he once was before God offered him His grace. Some of the Galatians think that Paul received his gospel message from the Apostles, and that the message might have changed along the way (similar to a game of telephone). But Paul wants to make it very clear that the message he received came down from heaven in the person, Jesus Christ, and was given as a revelation of His grace to Paul and to the Church. Why does this matter? Well, because Paul received his message directly from Jesus, not from man. On Wednesday nights during Curtis’ Bible study, we’ve been growing to understand that while man may change, the Word (which is Jesus) never changes.
We can learn so much from Paul’s heart for the Lord and from all of his many letters and teachings. One major thing that we can take away from today’s passage is that there is power in sharing our testimony. Remember, Paul’s first encounter with Jesus was approximately 4 to 7 years after Jesus was crucified and Paul was Saul at the time, a Jewish Rabbi of Tarsus, who was murdering God’s people. He went from executioner to evangelist. Maybe your story isn’t as dramatic as Paul’s, but it’s still your love story about Jesus and how He saved you by His grace…and that story needs to be shared with someone today, it’s the most loving thing you can do for someone else.
Galatians 1:11-24 NLT
Paul’s Message Comes from Christ
11 Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. 12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. 14 I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors.
15 But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him 16 to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.
When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. 17 Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.
18 Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie.
21 After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And still the churches in Christ that are in Judea didn’t know me personally. 23 All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” 24 And they praised God because of me.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for saving us. We did nothing to deserve Your grace, but You love us beyond measure and shower us with Your grace. Help us to share our testimonies with others. Let us be open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance while we share about Your saving love. We ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.