Paul’s Preparation — Galatians 1:11-24


Galatians 1:11-24 “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.”

Interpretation & Explanation

Galatians 1:11-12 “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

The gospel Paul preached was authentic and from Christ who is not a man

Paul had been taught many things from men, but not the gospel

Galatians 1:13-14 “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”

In the Jews religion

Paul knew what he was talking about

He was not “blowing off steam” about just any opposition

Beyond measure

To the highest possible degree

Made it his life’s ambition

Wasted it

Profited

In rank

In prestige

In power

In money?

Exceedingly zealous – zeal is not always good!

Traditions of my fathers

Not the Bible (OT)

Oral traditions, Jewish system

Galatians 1:15-17 “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”

When it pleased God

God’s timing is right (when)

God’s purpose is right (pleased)

God is always right

Separated me from my mother’s womb… that I might preach

God has plans for us even before us

Even those who go far astray can come to him and accomplish his will

Paul

Augustine

John Newton

John Bunyan

God prepares even before conversion – everything is within his purpose

Never despair of any “potential” convert

Called me by his grace

What wonderful grace

While on the road to Damascus

While breathing out threatenings, etc.

To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him

The purpose of his conversion was that he might preach

The purpose of our conversion is to let the “heathen” know about Christ

Immediately

No delay

Now is the accepted time

Today is the day of salvation

I conferred not with flesh and blood

Apostolic office

Was taught by the Lord himself

Them which were apostles

He compares himself with the apostles

He did not go to them to be “apostlized”

Galatians 1:18-23 “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.”

After three years – God’s seminary

Galatians 1:24 “And they glorified God in me.”

We should glorify God whenever anyone is converted

We can still give thanks for Paul’s conversion

The plan of redemption
Throughout the ages, God has used individuals to advance His plan. It is His plan, executed by human beings. How wonderful to contemplate this idea. We must also remember that everything is always within God’s timing. He has no “plan B.”
The Christ of salvation
We have a wonderful Savior, a God who loves to save sinners. We would love to save those like unto ourselves, but He saves those most opposite of Himself. What a gracious and merciful God!
The message to the church
Preparation is important. We ought not look at time or training before salvation as lost and completely useless – how did God prepare you before salvation? Do not look at time in preparation as wasted – preparation IS ministry. Take advantage of opportunities to prepare. God knows the future and puts opportunities before us. We do not know the future, we must make the right decisions in the events and opportunities before us right now.

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