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Faithlife

Galatians 1:15-24: God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It

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Scripture Reading: Galatians 1:15-24

Introduction

  • Are you a first or second generation Christian?
    • Second generation
      • Because your parents are Christians
      • You married a Christian
      • You hang around other Christians (“guilt by association”)
      • You have read the Bible and know the language
    • First generation
      • You have a relationship with Jesus Christ
      • You read the Bible because you want to know Him better (Illustration: Letters from Ruth when I was in college)
      • Prayer is a conversation with God, not a letter to “Santa”
      • These things are true in spite of (see 1 Corinthians 13:12)
  • Review: Paul was a first generation Christian and a first generation apostle (cf. Galatians 1:1)
    • Thesis (Galatians 1:11-12)—The gospel Paul preached was:
      • Not of human origin (κατὰ ἄνθρωπον)
        • Not received from any man (source—παρὰ ἀνθρώπου)
        • Not taught (agency)
      • Received by revelation
    • Thesis is developed in Galatians 1:13-2:10)
    • Paul’s life prior to conversion gave no indication of what would follow
      • He persecuted Christians
      • He was fanatical for Judaism
      • Compare Philippians 3:4-8
      • GIGO: Garbage in, Glory Out—Paul, an unlikely missionary candidate

Conversion (Galatians 1:15-17)

  • Acts 9:1-30
    • “Set apart from birth” (Cf. Jeremiah 1:5; Isaiah 49:1-6; Luke 1:11-17 / Psalm 22:9-11; 58:3; 71:6)
    • After we come to Christ, we can see how God orchestrated our lives


“Called by his grace”

  • Paul does not attribute his conversion to:
  • His intellect
  • An emotional reaction
  • An act of his will
      • (though each of these are involved in Paul’s response to God!)
  • Paul’s conversion is a response to God’s call
    • God initiates
    • The basis of God’s call: grace (independent of man’s merit)
  • Man responds


"His Son revealed in me"

  • A relationship Paul did not seek
  • A relationship that changed everything


“Preach him among the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15; 22:21; 26:17-18; cf. Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 49:6)

Conversation (Galatians 1:18-20)


“After three years”

  • Conversion Visit (See Acts 9:23 “after many days”; see also Acts 9:26-30)
  • Forced to flee because of persecution of Jews (the persecutor becomes the persecuted)


“Get acquainted”

  • What was Paul thinking?
    • Unity with Jerusalem Church
    • Learn more about earthly life of Jesus
    • Was not seeking endorsement

Confirmation (Galatians 1:21-24)


“Went to Syria” (location of Antioch) “and Cilicia” (location of Tarsus, Paul’s hometown)


“Personally unknown”

  • Active in evangelism
  • Accepted

Conclusion

  • A matter of revelation (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
  • The Analogy of Faith
  • A Place at the Table
  • What God Said, Paul Believed, and That Settled It!
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